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By Sandra Emerson, Redlands Daily Facts
Posted: 05/30/15 – 9:10 PM PDT |

The Yucaipa City Council reviewed the city’s draft budget for fiscal year 2015-16, which again anticipates revenues will exceed expenditures.

For the past seven fiscal years, the city’s operating revenues have exceeded its operating expenses by about $21.3 million in total, which has allowed the city to fund numerous projects.

“Historically, based on the council’s approach on appropriating funds, revenues have consistently exceeded expenses for operations and when you have revenues that exceed expenses on a consistent basis, now you have money in the bank,” Greg Franklin, the city’s director of administrative services, said to the City Council on Wednesday. “When you have money, now you have options. That allows council to do the projects and pay cash for things historically that we’ve experienced.”

The draft budget projects revenues to exceed expenses by $156,791, which are recommended to be used toward “service level options.” These are new, enhanced, increases or decreases in the level of services provided by the city. These services require council approval to be included in the budget. The budget maintains the city’s current level of services.

The net revenue next fiscal year, combined with nearly $1.1 million in service level options from the current fiscal year and money from the capital projects account, will be used toward the service level options.

“Staff is certainly comfortable over the next several years in completing these,” City Manager Ray Casey said on Wednesday. “We certainly recognize the aggressive nature of some of the work we have before us.”

Some of the proposed service-level options are continuing the city’s dog license canvassing program; initiating the fourth phase of the citywide video surveillance system; purchase and installation of ARCGIS software and related equipment; establishing a neighborhood watch and Community Emergency Response Team program; purchase and installation of an automated license plate recognition system; upgrades to the restroom at Wildwood Canyon Park and a citywide LED light conversion.

Mayor Pro Tem Greg Bogh asked if the city would spread the LED light conversion out over the year.

There is also an option to hire a new park ranger/maintenance worker to address demands from the addition of facilities and parks over the past few years. The ranger will also deter vandalism by patrolling the parks and facilities.

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