The city of Marshall has proposed about a $31.45 million balanced budget for 2020. The proposed tax rate would remain unchanged at .54216 per $100 valuation.

City commissioners are expected to vote on the tax rate at Thursday’s meeting and on the new budget at their Sept. 26 meeting.

“It is a balanced budget that focuses on improved service delivery, with an eye on the future,” City Manager Mark Rohr said.

Notably, the city was able to pay off a large portion of utility-related debt. City Secretary Elaine Altman said that this opened up funds for potential equipment purchases or other areas of need.

The majority of expenditures for the next year fit into two funds, the general fund at $21,065,098, and the water and sewer fund at $10,385,254.

A number of other noteworthy purchases are also proposed in the new budget, including a 15 percent increase in funding for street resurfacing; the purchase or leasing of nine police cruisers; and additional funds to honor the city’s $537,000 pledge for the a new animal shelter.

The new budget also focuses on implementing the Mobilize Marshall Plan, organized after a public strategic planning meeting held in June. Based on community suggestions on how Marshall can best be improved, the budget incorporates these ideas into the city’s plan for the upcoming year.

These changes include increased funding for road repairs, continued exploration of new and unique revenue sources, and more.

“It is no small undertaking to change the trajectory of any city,” Rohr said, “It takes time to implement the action steps necessary to effect such meaningful change.”

The Marshall City Commission will hold two public hearings on the budget, the first of which is Thursday.

“This will result in an enhanced quality of life for our citizens and, in turn, produce more revenue to reinvest back into the city,” Rohr said.