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Surplus Projected For City
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Property tax revenues are down but unanticipated revenues are up, which will cover the shortfall for a net increase in revenues, Riverbank City Council heard at a session to make mid-year budget adjustments.

The current housing market crisis has impacted Riverbank just as all the other cities in Stanislaus County and this city will see a decrease of approximately $150,000 in anticipated property tax related revenues, Finance Director Marisela Hernandez told the council on Feb. 25.

But there are several areas, including Vehicle In Lieu fees ($250,000) and the Office of Economic Adjustment grant for the ammo plant conversion ($77,000) where increased revenues will more than cover the decline in property tax income.

Thus overall, the city's general fund will experience a net increase in expenditures of $169,375 but a rise in revenues projected at $202,900.

Councilmember Dave White was far from pleased, saying "In my 16 years on the council, I've never seen adjustments this big."

"Water expenditures are much higher than usual," City Manager Rich Holmer commented. "But they still leave us $300,000 in water fund reserves. Our general fund reserves will increase to $800,000, which is about 11 percent of the total budget. That's much better than the $21,000 in reserves we had when I got here."

Water and sewer enterprise fund revenue projections have stayed constant and will meet the projected budget, said Hernandez. New state mandates and unanticipated projects, however, will necessitate appropriating reserves to meet the expenditures required by these mandates.