The Downtown Chattanooga Alliance (Business Improvement District) will run at a deficit for the upcoming fiscal year. Officials said they will dip into reserves to make up the difference.
There will be a pay increase for the program's Ambassadors, bringing them to $15 per hour and team leaders to $17 per hour.
A program to pay the homeless to pick up trash has been suspended.
Officials said the 2021 Forecast includes the following:
• Additional fees to Block by Block in the 4th quarter to hire additional help during the leaf removal season.
• A pause of the Cash for Trash program in the 4th quarter
• $50,000 for the development of a Landscape Design plan
• Hiring of a part-time Administrative Assistant
• Capital equipment additions of $45,500
The Forecast results in the DCA having an operating deficit of $79,000. Combining the operating deficit with the capital expenditures results in a cash flow deficit of $125K for the year and leaves us with Operating Cash of approximately $70,000, in addition to our Operating Reserves of $230,000.
Officials said, "Just a few key points to note when comparing the 2022 budget to 2021 forecast:
• Assessment revenue is lower in 2022 because the 2021 revenue reflects some delinquent 2019 assessments collected in 2021 while the 2022 budget represents the collection of assessments that will be billed in October 2021.
• The Management Services line increases by 9.4% in 2022 to allow Block-by Block to increase wages to a minimum of $15 per hour.
• The budget does reflect a continued pause in the Cash-for-Trash program in 2022.
• We anticipate all the costs of the Landscaping Design plan to fall into 2021.• Our intention is to seek grant funding for the Landscaping Design plan once it is completed. However, we have included $50,000 in the 2022 budget to fund maintenance of whatever is implemented in 2022.
• Personnel costs in the 2022 budget reflect a 5% pool for increases
• Now that we have aligned ourselves with providers of Marketing, Communication and Social Media services we anticipate spending $4,500 per month for those services.
• Both the 2021 forecast and the 2022 budget include a 2% fee the DCA is paying the City of Chattanooga for the services it is providing to collect and remit the assessments to the DCA.
• The 2022 Rent budget is for the full amount of our rent. Per our lease, we paid only the common area maintenance costs through July 2021.
• We have included $5,000 in the budget for Travel and Training to give Executive Director Steve Brookes the opportunity to go to the IDA Conference and to Block-by-Block’s annual partner meeting or other meetings he thinks will benefit the DCA.
"The 2022 Budget will have us ending the year with a deficit Operating Cash Balance of $30,000. If the Board approves, we will plan on using $30,000 of the reserves to fund the deficit, leaving $200,000 in Operating Reserves at the end of 2022."
Mr. Brookes said in the group's year-end report, "I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank the man and women who make up the Ambassador program. Led by their fearless leader Randi Haynes, the Ambassadors are heroes in downtown. They show up every day, dedicated to make downtown a better place for all to enjoy. Think about it for a minute, what job asks you to work in all type of weather, clean biohazards, help visitors, help individuals experiencing homelessness, pick up trash, paint, power wash, remove graffiti, jump start cars, and additional duties as required, all with a smile on your face. They have done a great job representing the DCA, City of Chattanooga, themselves, and their family. Downtown would not be where it is today with out the Ambassadors.
"Ambassadors are a team of Chattanoogans that set out daily to beautify downtown.
- 100% Chattanoogans
- 20% Re-entry
- 20% Veteran
- 40% Black
- 50% White
- 10% Bi-Racial
$13 per hour - starting pay Ambassador position (Moves to $15 starting January 2022)
$15 per hour - starting pay Team Lead position (Moves to $17 starting January 2022)
All full time Ambassadors are eligible for benenfirts after 90 days.