City's budget climbs
Yuba City will hire more police, revamp a downtown park and ante up money for levee studies with a balanced 2006-07 budget that is up 11.5 percent.
The proposed budget, for the year ending June 30, 2007, outlines $34.7 million in general fund spending.
When the entire mix of all funds, including water treatment plants and redevelopment agency spending is tallied, the city would spend $81.7 million, up 17.4 percent.
City Manager Jeff Foltz said the increase in general fund spending is reasonable for a growing city. New employees are being hired to keep the city's workforce on pace with a growing municipality that is bringing land and Sutter County residents into city limits through annexations.
“I don't think that's out of line for a growing city,” Foltz said.
Some of the budget items include:
Some of the new police positions approved last year still have to be filled, said Foltz. The market for police has become a competitive one in California, where growing cities are all vying for officers.
The City Council will hash out the budget in a May 30 study session before it is adopted June 6. If past years are any indication, there will likely be few modifications to the proposed budget released Tuesday.
“We haven't had too many drastic changes in the years I've been on council,” said Mayor Eric Hellberg.
Road projects that are years down the road but noted in the current budget are a Pease Road interchange and Walton Avenue widening and signal.
The city has banked just more than $1.3 million toward the $10 million-plus project cost of the Pease Road interchange with Highway 99. But unlike the Bridge Street and Walton Avenue projects, no future funding is earmarked during the next five years. The intersection is expected to be built in 2010.
Foltz said that state and federal money allocated through the Sacramento Area Council of Governments would comprise the bulk of the Pease Road project's funding, with development impact fees contributing a smaller share. But no money will be shown until the project gets farther along.
Other city initiatives include flood control projects. The city will add $250,000 this year for a total $750,000 that will pay a firm for flood management services and for a core drilling project to study levees protecting Yuba City.
On the revenue side, development impact fees would fall off sharply in next year's budget, dropping from $9.8 million to $4 million.
Fee revenues are expected to fall because less than 100 single-family home building permits have been issued so far this year, Foltz said. That compares with 869 permits taken out last year.
If the permit slump continues, it could force the city to be pickier about its impact-fee funded projects.
“You've really got to prioritize what you want to accomplish,” said Foltz.
Development impact fees are used to fund roads, parks, public safety facilities and other growth-related improvements. Studies are under way to come up with new, sharply higher impact fees. The exact amount is not expected until this summer.
Other city revenues are rolling in from expanded commercial, retail and real estate sectors.
Sales tax and property tax revenues are up, and Yuba City expects to gather just about $2 million more from those two funding sources. And this year is the first in three years that Yuba City won't lose money to the state's budget-balancing takeaway.
Appeal-Democrat reporter John Dickey can be reached at 749-4711. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.