By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Final Budget Plan Approved
Placeholder Image
Riverbank has adopted a 2011-2012 final budget of just over $19 million in projected expenditures against anticipated revenues of $16.1 with the so-called "structural deficit" being made up from reserve funds.

City council members approved the final budget at their Sept. 26 meeting by a 4-1 vote with Councilmember Jesse James White voting against approval.

In the "Citizen's Guide to the Annual Budget" included in the budget document, general fund revenues are projected to be $7.4 million. Approximately 65 percent of the revenues are expected to come from sales tax at $2.3 million, property taxes at $1.1 and property taxes in lieu of vehicle license fees (VLF) at $1.3 million.

General fund expenditures for the new fiscal year are estimated at $7.5 million with police services provided by the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department accounting for 45 percent of those expenditures. One of the goals established by the council is to afford a minimum of 1.25 officers per 1,000 residents.

The general fund expenditures are about 13 percent higher than the previous fiscal year due to the reallocation (on paper) of salaries in accordance with the Budget Advisory Committee recommendation to allocate all salary and benefits to the department for which an employee does most of his work.

The budget continues the council's policy of maintaining a long-term sustainable budget, according to the Citizen's Guide. Although total revenues have decreased significantly, the budget is responsible and supplements financial reserves for the future.

More detail on the operating budget can be found online at or for more information call the Finance Department at 209-863-7109.

Interim City Manager Pam Carder notes in an overview to the budget document that like other Stanislaus County cities Riverbank has been impacted by the economic depression. Since fiscal year 2008-2009, the County Assessor's office has brought out four Proposition 8 reassessments. During the last four years the city has seen assessed values drop by 13.32 percent, 8.24 percent, 6.61 percent and 4.98 percent causing significant decreases in revenues from property tax and property tax in lieu of VLF.

During the past three fiscal years of significant cost reductions, a total of 15 fulltime positions have been eliminated through attrition, separation incentives and a small number of layoffs, In addition, some departments have been reorganized to achieve greater efficiency, most notably with the merger of the Community Development Department with Public Works to form the new Development Services Department.

Identifying additional efficiencies will remain a primary focus during this budget year, she added.

"But with continual support and policy direction from council there is every reason to believe the city can achieve its goal of eliminating the structural deficit that persists in the general fund," said Carder.