City staff found a way to save the ’s Street Crimes Unit.
At Monday’s meeting, City Council accepted a report that closed the estimated $1.1 million budget gap, preserved the SCU and saved staff from layoffs.
, keeping the unit intact left a $327,000 deficit in the city's approximate $86 million budget.
Staff were able to make up for those funds with additional revenue from fines and permit fees, set to increase in the 2012-13 fiscal year. The new fees will make up $250,000, according to Interim Finance Director Mark Moses.
The remaining gap will be resolved by leaving a longer time between the retirement of police officers and the start date of new hires. According to the staff report, this will save $90,000. Combined, those funds will come to $340,000.
“I want to thank staff for all the hard work they’ve done in the past two weeks,” Councilman Andrew McCullough said. “What you’ve done here is find additional monies to ensure that we are committed to public safety.”
Although the 2012-13 budget does not use borrowed money or reserves, it does rely on continuing to withhold resources, Moses said.
These resources include deferring money for maintenance and repairs, which could lead to a lose of grant funds due to the reduction of projects.
“City-owned buildings and city-operated public facilities, parks and open space risk severe reduction in their respective values, safety and utility if they are not properly maintained,” the report said.
The city is also faced with the erosion of staff levels. Since 2007, the number of city staff decreased 15 percent and the city reduced the work week to 36 hours for non-safety personnel.
“[The reductions have] come at a price, in the form of exacerbating the service delivery and organizational capacity related-challenges caused by the earlier staff reductions,” the report said.
The Council will vote on the final budget in July.
“There’s still a lot of work we have to do,” Mayor Gary Phillips said. “We’re not out of the woods yet.”
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