By Rene Ray De La Cruz, Staff Writer
Posted Jun. 18, 2015 at 12:01 AM

HESPERIA — During a lengthy meeting, the city council passed its new fiscal year budget without raising fees or taxes.

During Tuesday’s meeting, the city unveiled its final 2015-16 budget, which includes a total expected revenue of about $72 million, with $11.4 million in budget reserves and $80 million in expenditures.

But despite the city’s general fund of just over $25 million, and an increase in property values, new home permits and economic development interests coming from outside the High Desert, Mayor Eric Schmidt said he is concerned.

After the meeting, Schmidt told the Daily Press that there were no surprises in the balanced budget, but the increase for contracted services from San Bernardino County has “rattled the cages” of many city and town councils, including Hesperia.

“Hesperia will receive the same level of service as it did last year, but the contract is increasing,” Schmidt said. “The sheriff’s contract is increasing by $1.1 million, but $650,000 of that is to cover the current level of service.”

Schmidt said the city will pick up the remaining balance of the budget increase by funding two sheriff’s deputies for the Traffic Division and one Sheriff’s Specialist and one Office Specialist added to operate the new Crime Free Rental Program.

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