Council to consider budget solution

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

The Ridgecrest City Council is expected to take action tonight on staff recommendations to correct a $1.2-million annual shortfall in the budget.

When the council met on Dec. 5, Interim City Manager Dennis Speer highlighted funding obligations that were inadvertently left out of the approved budget and underperforming revenue projections that yielded a structural deficit for the city. The council directed Speer to come back to tonight’s meeting with proposed cuts, which are listed as follows in the staff report:

Police Department $361,900

Parks & Rec $118,440

Public Services$52,640

Public Works$6,580

General Gov.$85,540

Transfers$32,900

The total budget amendments will save $658,375. “This amount was based on applying the remainder of the $620,000 Kern County RDA settlement payment to the budget revenue shortfall,” states Speer in his report.

That plan still uses one-time funds to manage about half the deficit between revenues and expenditures, meaning that even if the council does not make those cuts this year, it must make equivalent cuts in the coming budget in order to remain solvent.

Speer said that the city can continue to rely on a $575,000 loan from the wastewater facility fund to keep a balance in the general fund.

Mayor Dan Clark is also expected to make appointments to the committees, boards and commissions.

Items on the consent calendar include approving a change order for installing rest stations along the Bowman bike route, a resolution to reject bids for construction of safe routes to school and a resolution to vacate an easement located at 1100 W. Ridgecrest Blvd.

The meeting, scheduled to begin at 6 p.m., will be held in City Council Chambers. The public is invited to attend. Proceedings will be broadcast on Channels 6 and 41.

Story First Published: 2012-12-19