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State of Yuba City: Positioned for economic progress
Officials bullish about finances
Yuba City city budget:
• FY 2009-10 $82 million
• FY 2010-11 $74.6 million
• FY 2011-12 $72.5 million
• FY 2012-13 $74.5 million
Sales tax revenues:
• FY 2007-08 — $10,503,676
• FY 2008-09 — $9,423,945
• FY 2009-10 — $9,337,479
• FY 2010-11 — $9,713,385
• FY 2011-12 — $10,402,448
Business license revenues:
• FY 2007-08 — $688,077
• FY 2008-09 — $676,555
• FY 2009-10 — $669,824
• FY 2010-11 — $656,515
• FY 2011-12 — $701,347
Public improvements and prudent finances in Yuba City leave it well-positioned for better economic times that can bring more business, city officials maintain.
Work that includes improvements to levees and Highway 99 means the largest city in Sutter County is prepared for an improved economy, Mayor John Buckland and City Council members said.
Sales tax and business licenses suggest better times.
The sales tax for fiscal year 2011-12 nearly matches the $10.5 million of five years ago. Business license revenues in 2011-12 exceeded the total five years ago.
"Our budget picture is consistently looking better and we are optimistic the current revenue trend will continue," Buckland said.
The mayor said the Yuba City municipal government at its peak in fiscal year 2008-09 had 340 full-time positions. But there are now 290 full-time positions, the mayor said.
"The city is poised to complete nearly $40 million dollars in infrastructure repairs and upgrades during the coming year," he noted. "Funding for the bulk of these projects comes from grants or low-interest loans through the state. "This will have a direct impact on the local job market and is likely to increase local consumer spending."
Levee improvements continue to be a top priority in Yuba City, Buckland said.
Planned levee improvements by the Sutter Butte Flood Control Agency are expected to begin this spring.
"Improvements adjacent to the city remain at the top of the list when construction begins in the near future," said Buckland.
Mayor: Budget looking better
Comments on the state of the city from Yuba City Mayor John Buckland:
• "Our budget picture is consistently looking better and we are optimistic the current revenue trend will continue. Unfortunately, this improvement hasn't been enough to reopen contract talks with the employee groups to eliminate furloughs and other concessions that have reduced some public services."
• "The Rideout Health expansion project in Marysville has refocused attention on the aging Fifth Street Bridge. Plans are under way to replace the structure with a new four-lane bridge positioned on the north side of the current bridge. It is hoped funding will be secured for the project this year and construction to start in 2016."
• "The first phase of the Feather River Parkway project on Willow Island will be completed this spring. This project is grant-funded and will open river access to all members of the community. The second phase received grant funding last December and is expected to begin construction this fall."
• "The debt on Gauche Aquatic Park must be paid directly by the taxpayers of Yuba City. This is a negative impact of about $900 a day until the bond debt is repaid. Repayment of the bond debt will come directly from the general fund."
Councilman Gill: Good job with finances
Improvements to Highway 99, the main thoroughfare that runs north-south through Yuba City, will help the community and residents who commute to Roseville and Sacramento, Yuba City Councilman Kash Gill said.
"The faster they can get here, the better it is," the city councilman said.
Otherwise, Yuba City has done a very good job with its finances, he said.
"We know what our fixed costs are," Gill said.
The municipality has a balanced budget and reserve funds.
Home sales are stronger, and it's normal for sellers to have several offers higher than the listed price, Gill said. Property tax values have stabilized.
The city is well-positioned to take advantage of an improved economy, he said.
Levee work is strengthening flood protection and will provide another boost to bringing in more business to Yuba City.
California does find itself in a difficult job climate as many businesses head to other states, which offer free warehouses and free rent to lure companies.
"It's important to go after new business," Gill said of Yuba City, "and also retain what we have."
Councilman Maan: Right steps to success
Job creation is a key to Yuba City's future, says Councilman Tej Maan, and he said the city is taking the right steps to success.
Improved roads and flood safety reflect infrastructure work that will help attract new business. But Yuba City can't count on a huge corporation coming to town, Maan said.
"We're not going to have Apple or HP locate here," he said.
Government doesn't create jobs, he said. Government creates the environment for economic growth by providing the infrastructure.
"You cannot just sell your community" by marketing, he added.
"One thing we need to keep working on is to create some jobs — some well-paying jobs. To me, that's always been the biggest thing."
Maan said Yuba City takes care of its finances.
"We've always had good leadership who manage the money well," he said.
Maan agrees on the need to promote tourism in the area and said Yuba City for many people is unknown territory. When he tells people outside this region he's from Yuba City, they ask: Where's that?
They haven't heard of us, the city councilman said.
He praised police for addressing the gang problem in Yuba City.
"Our law enforcement did a great job," Maan said.
CONTACT Ryan McCarthy at firstname.lastname@example.org or 749-4780. Find him on Facebook
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