The Willows City Council approved the 2022-23 fiscal year budget last week that includes filling a number of vacant city positions and the purchase of new equipment and apparatus for the city. 

“Combined operating budget estimated revenues for the 2022-23 fiscal year are $8.8 million, compared to an estimated $11.9 million for fiscal year 2021-22,” according to the budget overview prepared by city officials. “Total planned spending for fiscal year 2022-23 is $8.8 million, compared to $10.2 million anticipated for fiscal year 2021-22.” 

City officials said total estimated revenues for fiscal year 2022-23 decreased by approximately $3.1 million from the fiscal year 2021-22 estimated actuals. 

“The decrease in overall expected revenues can be wholly attributed to the one-time collection of project-related grants and other sources for activities expected to be completed in fiscal year 2021-22 or early fiscal year 2022-23,” said officials. “These projects include Basin Street, Sycamore Street Apartments, South Willows Infrastructure and Rumiano Cheese Company.” 

Anticipated expenditures for fiscal year 2022-23 are $8.8 million, a decrease of approximately $1.5 million from the $10.2 million anticipated by the end of fiscal year 2021-22. 

“Similar to the year-over-year reduction in revenues, a majority of the decrease in overall expenditures can be attributed to one-time expenditures related to the Basin Street, Sycamore Street Apartments, South Willows Infrastructure and Rumiano Cheese Company projects,” said city officials. “Additionally, it should be mentioned that all positions including those that are currently vacant are budgeted for the entirety of the fiscal year (e.g., no salary savings are built in) to assure adequate levels of appropriation authority consistent with the demand for services.” 

According to City Manager Marti Brown, the approved budget includes the hire of an account manager, a position that has been allocated to cost $114,291 to be funded through the general fund, as well as the hire of a new community development/public services director and two new maintenance workers. The community development and services director is slated to cost the city $134,201 in general funds, while the two maintenance positions are estimated to cost $97,492. 

“It should be mentioned that 25% of the two new maintenance worker positions; and 25% of the three existing maintenance worker and one superintendent positions are budgeted in the city’s Sewer Enterprise Fund,” according to city officials. 

The Willows Fire Department has been allotted $90,000 to purchase new equipment, including a thermal imaging camera ($12,000), a defibrillator ($6,500), structural firefighting equipment ($10,500), hoses ($40,000), nozzles ($15,000) and a mini-split AC unit ($6,000). 

The department will also pursue grants for radios and SCBA equipment, according to Brown. 

The Public Works Department has been allotted $349,000 for new equipment as well, which includes a flatbed truck ($60,000, 60% of which will come from the general fund), a dump Truck ($100,000, 90% of which will come from the general fund), two side-by-sides ($30,0000 and a backhoe ($110,000, 80% of which will come from the general fund). 

The department will also be making Civic Center repairs totaling $100,000 and installing security fencing at the Corporation Yard, which is slated to cost an estimated $10,000 and half of the funds will be taken from the general fund. 

Other new budget items noted by Brown include new financial software for the Finance Department, an updated Master Fee Schedule, an update to the entire Municipal Code and upgrades to the audio and visual equipment in the council’s chambers. 

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