OAKDALE -- The City Council has passed a budget that keeps the city's approximately three dozen police officers and firefighters on the job and fully funds the senior and community centers. There is money to resume monthly street sweeping, which had been eliminated a couple of years ago.
That's the good news for the 2012-13 budget, which starts July 1.
The bad news is the council still faces difficult decisions on making the city financially self-sustaining.
Officials are working on redesigning how the city works. That could include consolidations, layoffs and privatizing some services. Some of the proposals could be unveiled in July.
Interim Operations Manager Stan Feathers declined to give details because he said the matters are related to labor negotiations with city workers and are personnel issues. But he said the city's proposals "will be disclosed in the very near future."
Some of the financial issues facing the city include annual revenue shortfalls of $700,000 to $1 million for its sewer fund.
The capital facility fee account designated to pay off the $2.8 million bond issued to build the South Willowood Drive fire station is empty. The city owes $177,000 a year until 2036 on the bond debt and has been borrowing from other capital facility fee funds.
The council passed the budget Monday on a 4-0 vote. The $19.5 million spending plan includes $8.9 million for the general fund, which pays for public safety, parks and other basics.
The budget includes $1.2 million expected from Measure O, a half-cent temporary sales tax increase. This is the first year the city will receive money from the measure, which ends in three years. City officials have pledged the money will be used for public safety.
In other action Monday, the council delayed appointing interim Police Chief Lester Jenkins to the permanent job. Interim City Manager Greg Wellman said the council did not want to appoint Jenkins until his contract is completed. Wellman said he expects Jenkins to be appointed in July.