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Council Approves 2016-2017 Budget
City Plan
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The Riverbank City Council has approved the City of Riverbank’s Fiscal Year 2016-17 Annual Operating Budget. The resolution was adopted this past Tuesday, June 28 at the City Council meeting where Marisela Garcia, Director of Finance shared the report and saw the council vote 5-0 in favor of the budget.

The proposed budget was presented in detail on May 23 at the Budget Workshop and amendments were made based on the direction received at that workshop, said Garcia. The state of California requires the adoption of a budget prior to June 30 to begin the new fiscal year beginning July 1.

General Fund Reserve Projections were noted as: Beginning Reserve $862,700 (10.5 percent); Estimated Revenues $8,719,200; Estimated Expenditures $8,859,900; Anticipated Ending Reserve $722,000 (8 percent); Required Minimum Reserve (10 percent) $871,920; Reserve Deficit ($149,920); Operating Structural Deficit ($140,700).

As listed in the Agenda, currently, a projected structural operating deficit (expenditures exceeding revenues) of $140,700 is anticipated. This operating deficit includes the proposed allocation of funds necessary for One-Time Expenditures of $104,500. The deficit attributable to ongoing expenditures is $36,200.

General Fund revenue projections were discussed with the Budget Advisory Committee at their May 18meeting. Overall, staff is projecting a 2.5 percent increase in General Fund Revenues when compared to the FY 2015-16 projections.

The City Council advised finance officials at the May Budget Workshop to include these one-time capital expenses in the FY 2016-17 General Fund budget: Camera System Upgrade (funded via PEG Fee Reserves), Administrative Services $40,000, Classification & Compensation Study, Administrative Services $60,000, Housing Loan Servicing Program Finance/Housing $4,500 totaling $104,500.

Listed in the report under General Fund Status Options is, as directed, the proposed budget does include $50,000 in additional staffing costs for one part-time position and transitioning one part-time position to a full-time position. This does affect the overall status of the General Fund Reserve and assists in creating a structural deficit.

City officials also  noted that there are future items to consider that could potentially have an effect on the General Fund which are: Future impacts of the State Budget on the General Fund Revenue Sources, Unfunded Mandates (including Stormwater), Zoning Code Update (Approximate cost of $135,000), Municipal Code Update, Seventh Street Storm Line Repairs (Approximate cost of $250,000), Non-Motorized Transportation Plan which will assist the City in applying for transportation-related grant funding, Parks and Recreation Master Plan, Minimum Wage Increases in future years affecting full-time wages, Future increases in Sheriff’s Contract. The increase of $43,300 in the proposed contract with the Sheriff’s Office was directly offset by savings attributable to the Stanislaus Regional 911 Communications savings.


Gas Tax Fund

The Gas Tax Fund is considered a Special Revenue Fund in that the revenues received are legally restricted. Revenues from the State Highways Users Tax are required to be held in its own fund, separate from the General Fund. Funds can only be spent on street maintenance.

Initial Reserve projections for the Gas Tax Fund have been calculated. For the 2016-17 Fiscal Year, the following reserve projection has been calculated:

Beginning Reserve $259,500; Estimated Revenues $662,400; Estimated Expenditures $833,000; Anticipated Ending Reserve $88,900 (13.4 percent); Structural Deficit $170,600.


Sewer Fund Revenue Projections

The Sewer Fund receives 94 percent of its revenue from user fees charged to customers (residential, commercial, and industrial). Based on historical billings over the past year, a net increase of 1.3 percent is anticipated in Sewer Fund revenues.

New sewer rates went into effect on July 1 as approved by the City Council. Overall, Sewer Fund expenditures are projected to increase by 1.6 percent.


Water Fund Reserve Projections

For the 2016-17 Fiscal Year, the Water Fund is anticipated to run an operating structural deficit of $155,100 and will end with a healthy reserve of 80 percent. Beginning Reserve $1,559,900; Estimated Revenues $1,753,400; Estimated Expenditures $2,302,700; Anticipated Ending Reserve $1,010,600 (58 percent); Structural Deficit $549,300.

In the 2016-17 Fiscal Year, the City will impose a drought surcharge on all water usage based on the approved rates in October 2015. It is anticipated that this surcharge will generate additional revenues that will offset the deficit projected.


City-Wide Operating Budget

The approved FY 2016-17 budget also includes the appropriation of funds to a variety of Special Revenue, System Development Fee, Housing, Sewer, and Water Enterprise Funds. These funds are legally restricted to be spent in a specific manner and are therefore eligible to be classified as a separate fund from the General Fund.