Thursday, 28 June 2012 01:56

Jackson approves deficit budget wihile awaiting Triple Flip restoration

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Amador County – Jackson City Council voted 3-2 Monday to approve a $3.36 million with a $125,000 deficit for fiscal year 2012-2013 as the city awaits a return of funding by the Legislature or the state budget.

Councilman Wayne Garibaldi and Mayor Pat Crew dissented. Garibaldi earlier asked what would happen if they did not approve the budget since the budget year ends June 30. City Manager Mike Daly said the city would continue operating with the existing budget in place.

Councilman Keith Sweet said Jackson was one of the few cities in the county that has a budget you can read and count on and he wondered why Garibaldi would ask that question.

Garibaldi said: “I probably can’t vote for a budget with a negative number. We’re $125,000 short” and restoration of Triple-Flip funds “are not a sure thing.” Daly said the closest thing to a sure thing is the governor’s reimbursement in the budget bill, which would give Amador County and its cities $1.5 million dollars, including $100,000 to Jackson, and $1.1 million to the county.

Daly said the status of Alyson Huber’s Assembly Bill 1191 has him “not quite as 95% confident in it” as he was, since it was placed in “suspense” Monday by the Senate Appropriations Committee. A consultant said “suspense” means it needs minor rewording, Daly said.

Crew said a healthy city is one with reserves but he was inclined to vote for it because “rainy days are here.” Daly said a typical city reserve fund is 20 percent, and for Jackson, that would be $690,000, so “we’re above that.” Reserves in the draft budget were $793,000.

With Legislative fixes, Jackson could get $100,000 to $300,000, he said, but “it’s going to be a continuing saga.” The budget lost a $100,000 COPS grant, which means the city must use other funds to pay a Police Officer’s salary and avoid layoff. He said negotiations with employees allowed reduction of insurance costs by allowing employees to choose a different policy. They will still get 100% paid insurance but have a smaller physician pool.

He recommended boosting the city’s share of participation fees with Amador County Recreation Agency, from 50% of a full share payment, to 80%. He also mentioned a return to paid parking on Main Street, now that storefronts were filling.

Daly was optimistic that a three-year increase in sales tax revenue would continue, with the addition of Grocery Outlet, and the early August opening planned for Tractor Supply Company. And National Hotel’s planned July reopening means the “iconic lodging and dining anchor for Main Street should help attract more visitors to Jackson and boost both the Transient Occupancy Tax and sales tax in the upcoming year.”

Story by Jim Reece This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Read 4433 times Last modified on Thursday, 28 June 2012 02:18