The City of Turlock will consider adopting the first two-year budget in city history on Tuesday.
The switch to two-year budget cycles is intended to create greater continuity and more clearly define budget priorities
Though the economy is expected to improve, with tax revenues up $1.4 million to more than $31 million total, the City of Turlock is still projecting a budget deficit. The status quo, 2014-2015 General Fund budget calls for $915,619 in deficit spending, primarily driven by a need to replenish the city’s equipment replacement accounts with a one-time $2.5 million expenditure.
“While the proposed budget recommends deficit spending, staff believes we will achieve a balanced budget over the next three fiscal years,” a city staff report reads.
The General Fund budget also calls for $50,000 to be spent on road repair and maintenance, the first time in recent history the City of Turlock would spend General Fund dollars on road repairs.
The Non-General Fund Budget is essentially flat. It does reflect water rate increases, coming July 1 and Jan. 1, 2015, a realignment of Information Technology under the supervision of the Police Department, a new employee in Finance for succession planning, and the creation of a new Finance Director position.
On Tuesday, the Turlock City Council is also expected to:
- Finalize plans to place a half-cent road tax on the November ballot. If approved by two-thirds of voters, the tax would raise $5.6 annually for 7 years, repairing roads across the city. The measure was initially approved by council on May 27.
- Move forward with a shift to elect Turlock City Councilmembers by district, as initially approved May 27. The change would create four districts, effectively geographical quadrants, each of which would vote for only its own councilmember. The change comes due to threatened lawsuits; at-large elections can be considered racially biased. Turlock voters must approve the change in November.
- Begin a phase III feasibility study for the North Valley Regional Recycled Water Project, which would sell treated wastewater from Turlock and Modesto to farmers in the Del Puerto Water District. The $1.6 million study cost would be split between the agencies, with Turlock paying $666,810.
- Approve a $218,540 expenditure to design phase 2 of the Turlock Regional Transit Center. The work would be performed by Pires, Lipomi + Navorro Architects, of Modesto.The second phase of development would accommodate potential commuter rail services; the Altamont Commuter Express Train is expected to expand to Turlock within the next decade. It would also include a shade structure, an office building, and some other site improvements.
- Approve $200,000 in retainer agreements with three outside companies to process building permit application reviews. Turlock has used outside plan check services to supplement in-house workers for several years, to process permits in a more timely fashion. The services would be performed by Bureau Veritas North America, Interwest Consulting Group, and 4Leaf, Inc.
- Hear updates on crime statistics, capital projects and building activity.
- Receive the Turlock Fire Department annual report.
- Finalize an update to the City of Turlock building code, to reflect changes in the new State of California building codes. The update was initially approved at the May 27 meeting of council.
- Begin the process to make some minor updates to fees charged by the City of Turlock. The most notable change is a slight increase in field and park party area rental costs, up $2 to $10 in most locations.
- Create a new fund to separately account for revenues and expenditures in the city’s Building and Safety Department. The change was recommended following an external review of the City of Turlock’s accounting practices.
- In closed session, meet with legal council to discuss two cases of anticipated litigation, one while sitting as the Successor Agency to the Turlock Redevelopment Agency.
The Turlock City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Yosemite Room of Turlock City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.