TURLOCK NOW: Council to debate new, trimmed budget

06/10/2013 6:49 PM

06/20/2013 1:09 PM

The Turlock City Council will vote today on whether to adopt a tightly trimmed budget for the year that would eliminate seven public safety positions.

City Manager Roy Wasden has recommended a budget that would cut three firefighter and four police officer, by not filling vacant positions. No layoffs would be needed.

The recommended 2013-14 budget would still require about $1 million in deficit spending, coming from the general fund serves. There would still be about $12 million in the reserve if the budget was approved.

Wasden and city staff recommend the proposed general plan budget despite the strain it would put on some departments because it is “consistent with the decreasing deficit spending levels” the council has adopted in past years” and position them to adopt a balanced budget in 2014-15.

Other savings would be accomplished by leaving various other city positions vacant, eliminating travel expenses, and reducing technology service and equipment replacement funds.

Programs that would see changes in the new budget would be after-school care provided with a partnership with the Turlock Unified School District (which will cost $1 more a week), and the Business Incentive Program for new businesses moving into vacant sites (which would be eliminated). Council members received a preliminary review of the general fund budget proposal May 14.

The other options laid out to them include spending no reserve money to keeping everything the way it is now and spending $3 million in reserve funds.

Wasden has acknowledged that residents could see a lag in response time, one fire station would see its staffing go from three to two, if the proposed budget is adopted.

The Turlock City Council will meet at 6 p.m. tonight at City Hall, 156 S. Broadway.

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