By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Employees Accept Furlough Days
Placeholder Image
To help balance the budget, City of Riverbank employees will take 12 furlough days during the fiscal year that began July 1 and runs through June 30, 2011, according to tentative agreements between bargaining units due for ratification at the July 12 Riverbank City Council meeting.

That applies to the city's middle managers, rank and file workers, and six department heads plus City Manager Rich Holmer, who announced the outcome of negotiations last week.

The furloughs or obligatory unpaid holidays for the workers, department heads and city manager amount to about a 4.5 percent pay cut or around $160,000 in annual savings, said Finance Director Marisela Hernandez.

Middle managers, however, are in the third year of a contract to receive a 4 percent cost of living increase.

Adopting a 2010-2011 operational budget on June 28, the city anticipates general fund revenues of $6.6 million against expenditure requests of $6.9 million and thus will need to use about $367,000 in reserves, Hernandez wrote in her memo to council.

The new fiscal year starts with a reserve of $839,000 or 13 percent of the general fund but staff estimates the general fund will end this year with a reserve of $471,000 or only seven percent, far short of meeting a 10 percent minimum reserve set by the council.

While staff anticipates revenues for 2010-2011 will be only 1.14 percent down from the 2009-2010 budget, it expects a four percent decrease in sales tax revenue for this new fiscal year. There have been significant declines in several other major revenue sources including building permit fees and motor vehicle in lieu fees.

Property tax revenues, however, remain stable as the Assessors Office has not continued with property reassessments begun a year ago.

Hernandez added that reductions in expenditures to achieve the 10 percent reserve figure have included elimination of funding for Channel 2 special programming, limitation of conference and other travel only to courses required for certification and city lobbying efforts, and cancellation of funding for the Sister City Program.

Staff is concerned about the gas tax fund and the sewer fund. The gas tax fund will require a subsidy of $96,000 from the general fund to balance the budget and have zero reserves by next June.

The sewer fund is expected to have a reserve of $131,000 or six percent by that date. But several major projects have been delayed including completion of an overall plan of the sewer system required by the Regional Water Quality Control Board and a pipeline repair at the wastewater treatment plant.