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Major crimes stretching Colusa's budget
wo major crime investigations in a matter of a week have Colusa officials concerned about the impact it will have on the police budget — and ultimately General Fund reserves.
"It's a little premature to start worrying about," acting City Manager Randy Dunn said Tuesday. "We have to keep an eye on it, but right now I do not have any red flags."
Police Chief Ross Stark said that the investigation into the recent shooting death of a 14-year-old boy has all but drained the overtime available in the 2012-13 budget.
That figure was $38,500 at the beginning of the new fiscal year on July 1, and has been drawn down on even before the murder investigation.
"We budget on what we believe will be a normal year for overtime: vacations, sick time, special details," Stark said.
"A murder will ruin that."
He said the murder investigation will likely eclipse what overtime remains, and the investigation into the armed robbery, while not nearly as severe, also will have an impact.
"We will see what the spike actually is," Dunn said, (and) "we will cover that with reserves."
Dunn believes the city is in decent shape with its reserves, based on recent conversations he has had with the finance staff and the annual audit team reviewing the books.
While the council has not specifically earmarked the funds for reserves, Dunn said the general fund balance sits at $1,184,000.
When the audit is completed, sometime around October, the council will likely officially set the balance as reserves.
Council members in recent weeks have raised concerns about just how healthy those reserves are going to be with revenues expected to be down.
Exactly what impact the criminal investigations will have is uncertain, but Councilman Tom Reische said the prospect of a major crime was a topic raised during the budget process.
"It was just a comment that was made when we were making the budget, and someone said if we have a murder, it would it eat into our general fund," Reische said.
Dunn said adjustments to the budget, including reserves, will be made during a mid-year review.