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City budget altered for increase in police pay
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Changes to the city's contract with police officers led the Ceres City Council to add expenditures to the newly adopted budget.

The council adopted its 2007-08 fiscal year budget on June 25. The budget outlined $19.2 million in discretionary spending.

After the budget was adopted for the new fiscal year, which started on July 1, the city ratified a three-year contract with the Police Officers Association. The increased costs for police, included with adjustments for the fire, planning and finance departments resulted in the need to add $377,071 to the budget.

The council also approved an additional $345,507 to the budget for non-personnel items.

The budget is now 3.9 percent more than last year's budget, said Sarah Ragsdale, the Administrative Services Director.

She expects more adjustments to the budget due to expected salary changes as a result of the reorganization of city staff. In addition, the city's contract with miscellaneous employees will need to be renegotiated when the unit's contract expires on Sept. 30.

Of the general fund, 73 percent is spent on both police and fire. Police are allocated $9.13 million while fire receives $4.7 million. This year's police budget is 5.1 percent more than last year's budget while the fire department budget is 10.4 percent more than the 2006-07 budget.

The city expects to receive a total of $19.2 million for the year.

City Manager Brad Kilger said the budget is balanced because department heads held the line on expenditure requests. He said the substantial increase in public safety salaries is "justifiable."