Liset Marquez, Staff Writer
Created: 06/13/2012 05:17:01 PM PDT

MONTCLAIR – When the City Council approves its budget for the new fiscal year next week, it will do so without having to do any more layoffs or ask personnel to take pay cuts.

As proposed, the budget identifies the long-term revenue sources to pay for the city’s bond payments, which are about $1.92 million annually.

Council members discussed the city’s $32 million operating budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year at a special meeting Tuesday night. They are expected to approve it at their meeting Monday night.

“This budget sets the city on a course of recovery from the recession,” said City Manager Edward Starr at the preliminary budget meeting Tuesday night. “We did a number of things, showed fiscal restraint, conservative economic practices and continued vigilance over our expenditures.”

It has been a rough year for Montclair, which was forced to eliminate 11 positions following the loss of its redevelopment agency. The layoffs represented one of its largest reductions in personnel.

Finding a permanent funding source for the city’s annual bond payments was a priority set by the council last year.

The city expects to achieve that goal with a combination of a boost to its existing revenues as well as identifying some potential new sources.

In the first quarter of the fiscal year, the council will discuss adjusting user fee rates for numerous city facilities. The adjustments could bring anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000 annually to the city’s general fund.

In addition, the council will consider revising the general sanitation fee for residential and commercial rates. A presentation on the rate will take place within the first quarter of the fiscal year. Depending on what is decided, $70,000 to $100,000 could be added annually to the city’s coffers.

Another option could be to increase Montclair’s utility user tax from the current 3.85 percent to a 4.74 rate, which was approved by voters in 1998.

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