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City budget right on track at mid-year
• Fire overtime goes higher than expected due to vacancies

The city’s budget picture looks healthy at mid-year with the council making a few tweaks on Monday.

City Manager Toby Wells said the city expects to close out the 2018-19 fiscal year on June 30 with a General Fund reserve of $4.01 million, which is 18 percent of operating expenses.

General Fund revenues are on target as of Jan. 31, representing 46.42 percent of the budgeted revenues 58 percent through the year. The amount excludes revenues yet to be received from the Ceres Unified School District Board which has not ratified the contract for the School Resource Officers this fiscal year. 

Total expenditures as of Jan. 31 were about 46.3 percent of the budgeted expenditures at mid-year. General Fund expenditures equaled 59.23 percent as of Jan. 31 which was 58 percent through the fiscal year.

The city budget continues to benefit from three development agreements allowing marijuana manufacturing and/or sales in the city limits.

“One of those – PCF – continues to do very well and has exceeded the minimum each month,” said City Manager Toby Wells. He said should Patient 1st Dispensary continue to report sales that require the maximum payment as prescribed in the development agreement, the city will recognize an additional $300,000 at the end of the fiscal year. As is, the city is adjusting Patient 1st Dispensary revenue up by $420,000 which recognizes the additional revenue received from July 1, 2018 through Jan. 31, 2019 plus the minimum expected from Feb. 1, through June 30. 

The adjustment to the General Fund expenditures results in a net positive amount of $263,840. This is achieved by adding the additional revenue of $420,000 and subtracting the adjustment to expenditures of $156,160. There is sufficient fund balance in the city’s funds to cover the adjustments.

Revenue that is received on a semiannual basis such as property taxes have one payment recorded. A large semi-annual payment is received from the state for Motor Vehicle in Lieu in January and May. Annual payments such as franchise fees are received in April and June and therefore show no revenue received as of January 31, 2019. 

Minor expenditure adjustments include:

• An additional $30,000 needed for modification to the TimeClock Plus (TCP) scheduling software. This is the software that replaces Intellitime for timekeeping and will replace Police and Fire’s scheduling software. The actual time clocks for tracking time and the scheduling software is needed to ensure the city is staying in compliance with FLSA law.

• Animal Control expenditures were increased to $427,000 from the budgeted amount of $350,000.

• Public Works requires an adjustment for the hiring of the Water Conservation position for the upcoming watering season. This adjustment is in the Water Fund for $19,200 for the 12-week period.

• The Fire Department required an adjustment of $201,500 to cover overtime. An estimated savings of $131,500 is realized due to vacancies in three positions but another $70,000 was needed to cover actual overtime costs. Wells said that being a 24/7 operation that overtime is always a reality but with new fire personnel in place future overtime costs should decrease.

• The Lower River Bluff project requires $135,000 to fully fund the project. This appropriation comes from Neighborhood Park fees fund balance.