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Galt City Council approves $27.5 million budget

Some positions remain frozen; others have their furlough days restored

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Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2012 12:00 am | Updated: 6:00 am, Wed Jun 20, 2012.

City employees have not received a cost-of-living salary increase and will continue to pay more for retirement benefits under a $27.5 million operating budget approved Tuesday by the Galt City Council.

There was no discussion, as the city reviewed the document in detail at a budget workshop last month.

Other highlights approved in the 2012-14 biennial budget:

  • Anticipated revenues are expected to increase $422,000.
  • Property tax will take an $81,000 hit based on a decline in assessed values.
  • A 3-percent increase to sales tax revenue is expected due to local consumer spending and the opening of the Walmart store in the second year of the two-year budget.
  • Annual deficit has been reduced from more than $1 million a year to a proposed $322,610 for the fiscal year that starts on July 1, and $140,180 for the following fiscal year.
  • Revenue from building license fees is also expected to go up in 2012-13, but decrease the following year.
  • Parks and Recreation revenue will go down by about $90,000, but remain consistent in 2013-14 due to increased concession sales at the Youth Complex.
  • Some positions will be reduced to part-time hours to save money.
  • Sixteen staff positions will remain unfilled.

"We're looking at this as operating under a new normal," City Manager Jason Behrmann said at the budget workshop, adding that the city continues to fully fund its reserves.

Earlier in the meeting Tuesday, council members approved amendments to a number of union contracts that restore a portion of furlough days that have been in place for years.

The city council also voted to change health coverage plans that will ultimately save the city $243,000 in 2012-13 and an additional estimated $390,000 in 2013-14, due to a decrease in city-funded health care premiums.

"This is an opportunity for the city to save money," Behrmann said Tuesday, adding that the city council action also increases community service that has been reduced due to furlough days.

The California Public Employees Retirement System will provide medical health coverage for current employees and retirees beginning Sept. 1.

Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at jenniferb@lodinews.com.

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