Council discusses strategies to close $2M General Fund budget gap for FY2017-18

Last Updated: 8/15/2017

With a focus on maintaining fiscal soundness, the City Council held a budget workshop April 17 to discuss options to close a projected $2 million gap in the Fiscal Year 2017-18 General Fund budget.

The presentation given to the City Council can be downloaded here.

What is the General Fund? The General Fund, which receives revenue from a portion of sales and property taxes collected in the city, funds services including public safety, public works, parks, recreation, and libraries. Since the City-owned utilities (electric, water, wastewater, and solid waste) and transit, are enterprise funds, meaning they operate on business models funded by their customers, they were not part of the workshop. 

Why is the General Fund budget in this position? With increasing costs, slowing revenue growth, and implementation of labor cost-containment strategies, a gap still remained for FY2017-18 that needed to be closed.  

What kind of changes were recommended? Staff recommended options that included the elimination of vacant, funded positions; revenue enhancements; and service-level reductions. Service-level changes included reduced maintenance levels in city parks and urban forest and reduced hours for libraries and Maidu Museum. While the reduction in overall staffing is not significant, it will affect current service levels in some programs areas and will reduce the City’s capacity to expand services. 

How can I watch the meeting? The workshop was televised live on Comcast 14 and Consolidated 73, which offer government-access channels, and is also available on demand.

How will we address this gap in upcoming years? At its April 19 meeting, the City Council will consider establishing a Community Priorities Advisory Committee to recommend how to address the budget gap in Fiscal Year 2018-19 and beyond. If the committee is approved, the application period to serve on the committee will be open April 20-May 19, and more details will be available on the City's website. 

What's next in the FY2017-18 budget process? The City Council will receive the draft budget on May 17.  It will also be available for public review on the City's website. The Council will hold its next budget hearings June 6, before it takes final action at its June 21 City Council meeting.