FY2022 Budget

FY 2022 Budget Guide

The City Council adopted the City of Dover’s fiscal year 2022 budget during a special meeting on Wednesday, June 2, 2021. The special meeting and vote followed several weeks of budget meetings and workshops, including a budget workshop immediately preceding the special meeting.

The final adopted budget is $161,476,571, a 2.7 percent increase over the current fiscal year budget. The general fund portion of the budget is $129,137,793, a 2.9 percent increase. The adopted general fund portion of the budget is the amount allowed by the tax cap.

The Council voted 7-2 to adopt the budget, with Councilor At-Large Lindsey Williams and Ward 5 Councilor Dennis Shanahan voting against it.

The estimated tax rate as a result of the adopted budget is $25.28, a $0.42 or 1.7 percent increase above the current tax rate. The official tax rate will be set by the state Department of Revenue Administration later this year.

Council agreed to reduce the city-side appropriations by $108,297 and reduce the school portion of the budget to be within the tax cap. But before voting on the entire budget, the Council by a 7-2 vote, amended the proposed budget appropriations to increase the school portion of the budget by $108,297, the exact amount the Council reduced from the city portion of the budget. Deputy Mayor and Ward 2 Councilor Dennis Ciotti and Ward 6 Councilor Fergus Cullen voted against the amendment.

Wednesday's budget workshop and special meeting, along with budget documents, can be viewed below:

Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Documents

Budget Presentations

The proposed FY2022 budget was first presented to the City Council on Wednesday, April 14, 2021. The presentation by City Manager J. Michael Joyal, Jr., can be viewed below:

Education, General Government, Finance, Planning, Miscellaneous and DoverNet/Information Technology

During a budget workshop on Wednesday, April 21, the City Council heard the first departmental presentations. The April 21 session included presentations on the proposed budgets for the schools, general government, the Finance Department, Planning Department, miscellaneous, and DoverNet/Information Technology.

The workshop can be viewed below:

Recreation, Library and Welfare

During a workshop on Wednesday, April 28, the City Council heard departmental presentations on the proposed budgets for Recreation, the Public Library and Welfare.

The workshop can be viewed below:

Police and Fire departments

During a workshop on Wednesday, May 5, the City Council heard departmental presentations on the proposed budgets for the Dover Police Department and Dover Fire and Rescue and Inspection Services.

The workshop can be viewed below:

Community Services

During a workshop on Wednesday, May 19, the City Council heard the departmental presentation on the proposed budget for Community Services.

The workshop can be viewed below:

School Budget

The School Board unanimously passed a default budget for fiscal year 2022 at its meeting on Monday, March 8. The School Board said the adopted default budget remains a work in progress.

The default budget provides $73,075,963 for general fund operating expenses and debt service. It is a $6,264,907 increase over the current 2021 fiscal year budget and $5,168,041 above the tax cap. The School Board budget is due to the City Manager by March 15 to be included in the City Council’s citywide budget this spring.

“This budget represents only our operating budget from last year plus our contractual increases the City Council has already approved,” said Superintendent William Harbron during the  budget workshop  preceding the School Board’s  regular meeting .

Harbron told the School Board that passing the default budget would allow the School Board and School District to reopen negotiations with the Dover Teachers’ Union (DTU) in efforts to find cost reductions to deliver a tax cap budget. 

“The DTU agreed to come to the bargaining table, and our discussions with them are ongoing,” Harbron said during the budget workshop. “We are extremely grateful that they have partnered with us in attempting to deliver a tax cap budget to the citizens of Dover.”

A clause in the  contract agreement  between the Dover School Board and the DTU ratified by the School Board and City Council in 2019 allows the parties to reopen negations for cost items and specific circumstances. The district has to present a default budget to the City Council to activate this clause should the budget be rejected by the City Council.

“Approving the default budget allows the district to continue its discussions with the DTU with the hope that we can come to an agreement prior to the City Council approving the budget in May. If we do come to an agreement, we should be closer to the tax cap,” Harbron said at the workshop.

Harbron said that discussions with the DTU have been positive, and the two sides are scheduled to meet again on March 25.

School Board Chair Amanda Russell reiterated the School Board and School District’s commitment to find cost savings for the 2022 fiscal year budget.

“We are not done with the budget,” she said. Passing the default budget now “is the best decision the Board can make at this time with all of the information we have today.”

The budget workshop  can be viewed here .

The School Board regular meeting  can be viewed here .

The budget and budget documents  can be viewed here .


The Fiscal Year 2022 budget process began on Oct. 7, 2020 when City Manager J. Michael Joyal, Jr. presented his proposed Capital Improvements Program to the City Council and Planning Board at a joint workshop. The CIP is a six-year infrastructure planning document based on priorities established in Dover’s Master Plan. Projects included in the plan are capital projects and purchases over $25,000 that maintain and improve the community infrastructure and have a useful life of at least three years.

Following the joint workshop, the Planning Board held two meetings and a public hearing on the CIP. The Planning Board's role is to review the CIP to ensure it meets the needs expressed in the Master Plan and provide a recommendation to the City Council. The Planning Board voted to recommend the City Council approve the CIP at its Oct. 27, 2020 meeting. 

The City Council held its CIP public hearing at its Oct. 28, 2020. The Council deliberated the CIP plan and its first year funding at its Nov. 18, 2020 meeting, and then held  three CIP-related votes:

As City Manager Joyal said when he presented the proposed CIP plan at the City Council's Oct. 7, 2020 workshop, adopting the six-year plan "is a statement of intent, but it does not bind [the City Council] to anything. It tells me as your City Manager and anyone else in the City, this is your long-term plan on how things are going to happen in the City for upgrading roads, infrastructure, replacing equipment and so forth. From an operational perspective, it allows us to start making plans or continuing plans for replacing equipment, and perhaps not investing in maintenance in certain things because we know we will replace it in a timely fashion."