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Council Hears Five-Year Financial Forecast
On Thursday, Sept. 25, the Riverbank City Council heard a financial forecast for the next five years from Director of Finance Marisela Garcia at a special presentation. Shown, from left, Councilwomen Darlene Barber-Martinez, Jeanine Tucker, Mayor Richard O'Brien, Vice Mayor Cal Campbell, and Councilwoman Leanne Jones-Cruz discuss the impact of the projections. - photo by Ric McGinnis/The News

How far does your crystal ball look into the future?

For the City of Riverbank, turns out it’s about five years. Members of the Riverbank City Council got the opportunity recently to hear a presentation by Finance Department Director Marisela Garcia that covered the financial possibilities over the next five years.

At a special presentation to the council on Thursday, Sept. 25, Garcia pointed out that, while conditions seem to be improving overall, she felt guardedly optimistic about Riverbank’s future. She compared the projections from state and regional sources for what is expected to occur with how the difficulties of recent years affected city operation.

Although the council was scheduled to merely receive and comment on the presentation, Garcia said she expected the information to assist them with decisions coming soon with the mid-year budget review. Riverbank operates on a fiscal year that runs from July 1 to June 30 and typically conducts the mid-year financial review toward the end of the calendar year.

Indications of from where possible growth might come were laid out during the information session as well, with potential impacts on the city. In comparing the past with projected future concerns, Garcia noted that the completion and opening of the Crossroads shopping center and its increased sales tax revenue to the city helped lessen the blow from lowered property taxes during the early part of the recent recession.

She said the finalization of a route for the North County Corridor and the potential for a second Crossroads shopping center could add to the sales tax base in the future.

In the end, Garcia stressed that her financial forecast would continue to have a cautious tone to it, and would consider adding a “rainy day” element to the fund reserve calculations.