RIVERBANK — The City Council tonight will consider a 2013-14 budget that would keep two police positions vacant to provide for an adequate reserve.
City Manager Jill Anderson proposes general fund spending of $7.98 million in the fiscal year starting July 1, down slightly from the $8.01 million for the year about to end.
The budget projects income of $7.92 million, up 1.4 percent, which would be added to an estimated $968,045 reserve carried over from this year. The reserve is expected to be $901,948 at the end of 2013-14, just above the 10 percent minimum required for the budget.
The plan reflects expected small increases in property and sales taxes, and rising costs for salaries, retirement, workers compensation and other items. Income could increase if the latest tally of assessed values means higher property taxes.
Anderson noted that the 2012-13 budget was aided by a $185,000 payment from the settlement of a lawsuit over a Tuolumne County rock quarry that will send freight trains through Riverbank.
"The general fund is currently in the precarious situation where revenue increases are not sufficient to fund the increases in ongoing, annual expenditures," she wrote in a memo to the council. "A multi-year expenditure reduction plan should be contemplated in order to provide long-term expenditure savings."
Police services, provided on contract by the Stanislaus County Sheriff's Department, would remain by far the biggest part of city spending, even with the two positions unfilled. Police spending is $3.85 million in the proposed budget.
The budget includes $12,400 for new roofing at the Riverbank Historical Museum and City Hall North, and the city would spend $15,000 for a community survey.
The City Council will meet at 6 p.m. today at Riverbank City Hall, 6707 Third St.
Bee staff writer John Holland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2385.