The City of Riverbank’s Budget for the 2015-16 Fiscal Year was approved by members of the Riverbank City Council at the final regular meeting in June, to take effect with the start of the new fiscal year. Marisela Garcia, City of Riverbank Director of Finance, presented an overview of the budget proposal to the council members and attendees, covering such areas as the General Fund, Special Revenue Funds, System Development Fee Funds, Housing Funds, Sewer Enterprise Funds and Water Enterprise Funds. The 2015-16 fiscal year runs from July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016.
“We are pleased after many months of hard work to present to you the Fiscal Year 2015-16 Annual Operating Budget,” stated Garcia at the beginning of her presentation.
The city will begin the fiscal year with a reserve of about 9.9 percent or $857,450 and are looking at general fund revenues of about 8.4 million and expenditures of about 8.6 million, with an ending reserve of 7.5 percent, or about $635,050.
The City Council guidelines require the city to have a 10 percent reserve, so the projected end of fiscal year reserve total would fall short of that level.
Explained in “A Citizen’s Guide to the Annual Budget” created by Garcia it indicates that the less-than-desired reserve results from expenditures exceeding revenues, or what is commonly called a “structural deficit.” The balance of the funds needed to cover projected expenses comes from the city’s existing reserves.
The guide continues with some specifics on the General Fund and an overall conclusion regarding the city’s spending plan.
The General Fund is the primary operating fund of the City. In order to be prepared for unforeseen financial emergencies, council policy requires that a 10 percent General Fund reserve be maintained. City revenues will experience a decrease of 2.4 percent in comparison to revenues in fiscal year 2014-2015, the information from Garcia stated. The city reserve is projected to be 7.5 percent as of June 30, 2016. A structural deficit is projected in and reserve funds will be allocated for several one-time payments such as the final payment of the Downtown Beautification ED Bank Loan.
General Fund revenues for the fiscal year are projected to be $8,431,700. Approximately 66 percent of the revenues projected are expected to be received from three major sources, said Garcia: Sales Tax ($2,748,600), Property Tax ($1,226,400) and Property Tax In Lieu of Vehicle License Fees (VLF) ($1,624,800). Other major General Fund Revenues include Franchise Fees and Transfers In of Management Fees. For the 2015-2016 Fiscal Year, General Fund expenditures, including Transfers Out to other funds, are estimated at $8,654,100.
Garcia added, Police Services, provided by the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department, accounts for 44 percent of the expenditures in the General Fund. Other departments, such as Parks, Recreation, Development Services, and other General Government services (Administration, City Council, City Manager, etc.), make up the balance. The 2015-2016 General Fund Expenditures are approximately 0.61 percent ($52,750) higher than the 2014-2015 year expenditures.
The operating budget for the 2015-2016 fiscal year continues to support the Mayor and Council’s policy of maintaining a long-term sustainable budget.
“Although the total revenues anticipated have decreased, the budget is responsible and supplements financial reserves for the future. This budget addresses many of the services and programs that make a community a home: beautiful parks, well maintained recreational facilities and cultural activities,” Garcia wrote in her report. “It continues to provide funding for police services to help protect the safety of the public as well as funding to keep our water safe for residents to drink and our sewer systems working properly.”
Accessing the Budget Online versions of the City of Riverbank’s operating budget for FY 2015-2016 can be found at www.riverbank.org.
For more information about the City budget, contact the Finance Department at (209) 863-7109.