The California Board of Aldermen approved 5-0 a budget Thursday projecting a modest revenue increase of more than $50,000, while cutting expenses by more than $225,000 from last year's totals.
Not figured into the budget are the raises that will be applied to city employees. California City Clerk Aimee Hill said nearly all employees of the city will receive a 50-cent raise. Hill has until March 31 to finalize the amended budget.
Total revenues, including governmental and enterprise, for the 2019-20 fiscal year are forecast to be $9,709,633, compared to $9,653,565 in 2018-19. Expenditures are budgeted at $9,254,632, compared to $9,482,247 in 2018-19.
Three departments — police, fire and electric — were allocated more money in the 2019-20 budget compared to last year's budget.
The Police Department funding rose to $604,835, compared to last year's $531,319. This increase is tied to several equipment purchases including replacement of a patrol car with a patrol sports utility vehicle; replacement of eight desktop computers with laptops; acquiring supplemental data storage for body camera downloads; replacement of police clerk Kathy Roll's computer hard drive; and updating the record management system. The budget also leaves room for salaries of seven full-time officers and Police Chief Shane Templeton.
The Fire Department saw an increase in its budget; the 2019-20 budget anticipates expenditures of $158,751, compared to $140,919 last year. Potential expenses include the purchase of a used fire truck. If a truck is purchased in the next year, an amendment will be made to the budget, the board was told.
The budget earmarked $850,009 for the Electric Department, compared to $572,800 last year. The department is asking for a new substation along with updated utility billing software and a wood chipper.
The Wastewater Department was budgeted $553,200 in the 2019-20 budget, compared to last year's $477,750. This year, the department was allotted $27,900 for repair and maintenance for the wastewater treatment plant including four omnisites budgeted for $20,000. Infrastructure upgrades for the wastewater treatment plant, including west aeration basic improvement, EQ2 solids application and EQ2 biosolids Analysis, amounted to $333,200.
At least six departments were budgeted less funding than last year.
The Street Department saw a decrease of about $300,000 in the budget, which appropriated $263,000 for 2019-20 compared to last year's $565,000. The 2019-20 budget is looking to replace Supervisor Vic Mauer's pickup truck. Maintenance on overlay is expected to be $205,000 and stormwater upkeep is projected to be $25,000.
On the administrative side, total expenditures are expected to be lower, with $185,537 allocated compared to $198,767 in 2018-19. An expected expense for the department is a software update at City Hall totalling $10,000.
The Park Department saw a decrease in funding with $246,311 in the 2019-2020 budget, compared to last year's $253,552.
The Recreation Department also was budgeted down; expenditures are expected to be $253,352 compared to last year's $293,031. Supervisor Leslie Scheidt asked for new lights and scoreboards at the baseball fields amounting to $80,000.
The compost fund saw a decrease from last year's $15,700 to $10,700 in the 2019-20 budget.
The water department saw a decrease in funds at $703,424, compared to last year's appropriated funds of $950,283. No vehicles have been requested, but an $8,000 leak detector and utility billing software set at $38,750 was requested. In addition to the updates, $80,000 was set aside for the Capital Improvement Program.
In other action Thursday, the board was told "a group of people from the city looking at the possibility of a waterpark."
Last fall, the city allocated $5,000 to hire a consultant to create a preliminary design for a water park, Mayor Norris Gerhart said.
"We as a group do not have anything in this budget for further plans for the waterpark," Gerhart said. "We know that there's money available to get whenever you (the Board of Alderman) all approve of us to move forward on it."