By Liset Márquez, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Posted: 06/25/16 – 3:07 PM PDT |
UPLAND >> When the City Council gets its first glimpse of the proposed $46.1 million budget Monday night, it will include some maneuvers that indicate the city continues to live in very lean times.
They include keeping numerous positions vacant and transferring capital funds — money spent usually spent on big projects — to help pay for some public works maintenance.
Meanwhile, the five-year outlook continues to show, in the best-case scenario, the city could be in a deficit in two years.
Last year, a consultant provided a report for the committee which found Upland could find itself in the red by 2017 — driven mainly by increasing pension costs.
At the June 20 budget workshop, city’s Finance and Economic Development committee agreed to move the budget to the council for approval.
The 2016-17 budget has a $225,128 surplus. To achieve a balanced budget, staff identified the current full- and part-time vacant positions, excluding public safety, that could go unfilled for several months for a savings of at least $273,000.
Dan Morgan, city treasurer and a member of the three-member committee, said he would rather see positions frozen for a six-month period rather than the two months originally proposed by staff.
“You see the savings that you want, and you might even anticipate that it might be bigger if you add those kinds of months. I think that’s what we need with this budget, to really give us the breathing room we’re looking for,” he said. “I think this is a hard pill we have to take over the next six months until January.”
But Councilman Glenn Bozar said he wanted to see the vacancies for a three-month period
Instead of filling the positions immediately, Bozar said the city should say: “I’m going to freeze them and then in three months I’m going to see if it’s ever going to be re-instituted.”
Councilwoman Debbie Stone and Glenn were concerned revenues from sales and property taxes could come under the projected figures, cutting into the surplus.
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