Grand Terrace council balances city budget
GRAND TERRACE - It's not the budget city officials hoped for, but it's the one they expected and one they can live with.
After the third consecutive week of reviewing a set of proposed cuts and hearing updates on state budget developments that play a big part in the city's plans, the City Council voted Tuesday night to accept a package of cuts as part of a balanced budget.
The city cut $533,692 by removing positions, reducing programs and consolidating services. That leaves it with a surplus of $290,793 in its General Fund for fiscal year 2011-12, which begins Friday.
City staffers, council members and citizens had repeatedly reviewed the city budget because they were unsure how decisions made by Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature would affect the city.
Council members said that led to a grudging acceptance of the necessary cuts, which they approved unanimously.
"The thought is, (let's) move forward with all this that there's some comfort level with, even though it's very painful," Councilwoman LeeAnn Garcia said. "Whatever the dangers that are going to hit our city, I know we'll weather it together."
The city cut the position of the deputy city clerk, a longtime city employee, and a management analyst from the Community Development Department. It also ended city sponsorship of events like Grand Terrace Community Days, reduced maintenance of parks and City Hall and merged several departments.
On the heels of a report showing most categories of crime declining in the city, they also cut a traffic deputy position and will share a patrol deputy with Loma Linda.
Also, a patrol deputy's hours might be cut in half, to 20 hours a week, if funding is not found through the state Community Oriented Policing Services grant.
The state budget that passed Tuesday, during the city's meeting, indicated the program would be continued but did not clarify its funding source.
City Manager Betsy Adams, who checked news from Sacramento via Twitter and updated the City Council immediately before the vote, said little had changed since the June 21 meeting - the city would get by, but would be substantially hurt by state plans to require cities to pay in order to continue using redevelopment agencies.
"In no way is it ideal," Adams said. "It is going to cost Grand Terrace a lot of money we don't need to be spending, but will be able to keep our RDA."
Grand Terrace budget changes
The Grand Terrace City Council approved seven changes Tuesday as part of a balanced budget. The cuts and the amount saved by each are listed below:
1. Remove traffic deputy position from sheriff's contract: $228,714
2. Merge rental inspection program into Code Enforcement: $51,465
3. Cut management analysis position in Community Development: $6,496
4. Not fund community events program: $52,880
5. Cut deputy city clerk position: $58,533
6. Reduce parks and City Hall maintenance: $17,200
7. Share patrol deputy position with Loma Linda: $118,404