BY JAN SEARS
Published: 15 June 2012 06:56 PM
When Redlands’ five city councilmen consider the 2012-13 general fund budget on Tuesday, June 19, they will hear a little bit of good news along with the not so good.
While property tax revenues continue to sag, sales tax revenue is “climbing out of the hole a little bit,” City Manager N. Enrique Martinez said last week.
And the city has found a way to put aside about $3.4 million for paving streets, Martinez said.
Even one of the negatives in the budget — the end of employee furloughs, which will increase city costs — could have a positive impact for residents. Instead of City Hall being closed every Friday, it could go back to being open every other Friday, city spokesman Carl Baker said.
Overall, revenue for the coming year is expected to increase by about $1 million, including a $601,000 boost for sales taxes, $234,000 in franchise fees and $95,000 in development revenue, Martinez said in his budget message.
The sales tax increase is significant, said Tina Kundig, the city’s finance director.
General fund expenses also will rise, by about $2.1 million. That increase includes the cost of ending furloughs as well as increased costs for police and fire services. The latter resulted from workers’ compensation increases for both departments and information technology costs for the police department, Martinez said.
Development services saw an expenditure increase of $365,000 as a result of the dismantling of the city’s redevelopment agency; human relations had an increase of $193,000 because of an increase in retiree health care premiums and the city clerk’s office had a $96,000 increase for election costs.
The city’s proposed general fund budget is about $6.6 million, the same amount that the city expects to have in its reserves at the end of the 2012-13 fiscal year.
Martinez said he was especially proud of the funds that will be available for street paving. Redlands’ streets have been a sore point for years, with residents complaining regularly at council meetings about the need for resurfacing.
A pavement study of the city’s 640 lane miles of streets resulted in an overall rating of 53 on the pavement condition index, which rates streets from 0 to 100, with 100 being a prefect street.
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