The money you shell out as part of Measure L, the local half-cent sales tax measure, is being spent properly.
That was the conclusion of an audit whose results were delivered to the Ceres City Council last week.
Measure L was passed in 2016 to pass a 25-year special sales tax that may only be spent on regional transportation. It will end March 1, 2042.
Rosa DeLeon Park, executive director of the Stanislaus Council of Governments or StanCOG, said the audits of the expenditure plans were recently completed by the firm of Hudson, Henderson & Co., and thanked the public for passing the measure. She said she “felt very proud” of the audit results.
During the fiscal year 2017-18, the city of Ceres received $1.8 million and spent $745,000, leaving a balance of $1.1 million ending June 30, 2018. Ceres began spending the money in 2018 with a variety of road projects, mostly on pavement preservation treatments.
“We have good news for everyone,” StanCOG Finance Manager Karen Kincy told the council. She explained that Fiscal Year 2017-18 was the first full year of Measure L. StanCOG is the clearinghouse for all the funds to be disbursed to the nine cities and Stanislaus County. Each city has decided how it will improve local roads. Cities started receiving regular monthly distributions by June 2018.
Last April the Measure L Oversight Committee received a report of compliance, detailing that expenditures, reports, maintenance of effort, reporting and administrative limits were all appropriate for the fiscal year.
The audit found nothing to flag.
Each city has a list of projects paid for by Measure L funds through StanCOG. It is found at stanislausmeasurel.com
Kincy said before the passage of Measure L, Ceres and the other cities were struggling to come up with funding for road projects. Once Measure L funds began being dispersed, Ceres began slurry and cape seals on some of the streets needing treatment, traffic signals such as at Service and Morgan roads and other upgrades.
Kincy also acknowledged the Measure L Oversight Committee contributions of former member Larry Lew of Ceres. He moved out of the county to leave a vacancy that needs to be filled. Any Ceres resident interested in applying for position may find an application of the StanCOG website.