Officials discuss budget priorities
Funding Orland Volunteer Fire Department equipment replacement is a big priority for the City Council this year.
City Manager Peter Carr and Finance Director Daryl Brock updated the council Tuesday on Orland's mid-year budget figures for 2012-13.
Halfway through the year, some general fund revenues are running slightly higher than budgeted, Carr said, while others are running a bit under projections.
That was the case with the city's share of vehicle license fees that decreased by $39,000 to around $273,985.
General fund expenses are running $23,411 under budget, Carr said, but both revenues and expenses are within 1 percent of the adopted budget and are forecast to remain there through the end of the fiscal year.
The general fund's balance was predicted to be $602,000 by June 30, but it actually has a reserve balance of $637,000. The minimum reserve policy is to have $585,000, he said.
Brock also reported the city should be getting $34,000 back from Glenn County in refunds for collecting the city's property taxes.
That is because of a recently settled suit out of Southern California requiring counties to charge cities less for the service, Brock said.
Glenn County billed Orland $65,000 for property tax collection last fall, he said, and should refund the $34,000 when the second round of property tax payments comes.
Replacing City Hall's computer server for around $15,000 is a top priority as well, Carr said. However, only 40 percent of the cost would come from the general fund. The rest would come from the water and sewer enterprise funds.
As for the Fire Department equipment, Carr figured the city would have to spend $169,000 to replace most of the department's personal protective gear and its air tanks.
That is not an option now, but the Fire Department is asking for $39,000 this year to replace some of these items and buy new hoses and radios, Carr said.
The general fund is budgeted for $2.9 million this year and has received about 50 percent of its revenues and spent 50 percent of its expenditures, Carr said, putting it all within 1 percent of budget.
Also, the county refund and the $35,000 extra in reserves account for $69,000 in extra money this year that could be used for some of these expenses, Carr said.
"We should start on the safety equipment replacement," Mayor Charles Gee said, in terms of budget priorities.
Councilman Dennis Hoffman agreed and also said the city's computer server needs to be replaced.
And Councilwoman Salina Edwards asked that $3,000 be given to the Orland Chamber of Commerce to support its business promotion activities.
"I don't think it will break the budget one way or another," Edwards sa id.
Councilman Jim Paschall said the council members should take a couple of weeks to digest the budget figures and look at it Feb. 4.
"That way we won't make a knee jerk reaction," he said.