The Bakersfield City Council will be asked to formally oppose President Trump's proposed budget Wednesday because it would eliminate several urban development programs that give the city millions of dollars a year.
Ward 7 City Councilman Chris Parlier directed staff to draft the resolution opposing the president's budget after listening to an hour-and-a-half-long presentation on homelessness May 24.
The City of Bakersfield would lose more than $4.3 million if the Trump budget passes in its current form. Most of those funds usually go toward building curbs, gutters and sidewalks in low-income neighborhoods but some also fund homeless support programs and the senior center.
"I think the earlier the better," Parlier said of the council taking up the resolution. "The more information that you have on this municipality, maybe (our federal partners) will become more aware of the impact."
The Bakersfield Homeless Center uses its share of the Housing and Urban Development funds to provide shelter to people who are homeless, mostly women and children, and as rent to send people back into housing, said Executive Director Louis Gill.
"HUD is the largest funder of homeless centers across the U.S.," Gill said.
The Bakersfield Homeless Center and other local homeless initiatives would lose $266,000 if Congress passes Trump's budget.
Gill said the center receives money from local, state and federal governments in addition to private donations from people, businesses and churches. But, he said, government assistance has retreated in recent years and other donations have not filled the void.
"It's getting harder to be able to afford the beds and the meals," Gill said.
Gill said the plan to eliminate HUD funding would also result in higher costs, including increased emergency room visits and law enforcement interventions.
"It's shortsighted," Gill said. "It places people in drastic situations and they react a certain way."
The City Council is scheduled to vote on the resolution during its meeting at 5:15 p.m. in City Hall South. The item is on the consent agenda, which is a group of non-controversial items the council passes with one vote unless someone requests separate consideration.
The resolution can be found on publicagenda.bakersfieldcity.us under item "j." Hyperlinks to the document are found at the bottom of the Administrative Report.
Meanwhile, the City Council heard from the last six departments about their proposed budgets for fiscal year 2017-18 Monday.
The department budgets had growth, but mostly due to increases in salaries and benefits.
Of note, the Public Works Department wants to add a Solid Waste Division employee to service the increase in houses and customers. Public Works Director Nick Fidler said the department is continuing to face increased costs since Delano Energy Plant closed and Solid Waste has had to haul away wood chips itself.
The Department of Water Resources told the council it may have to increase fees due when the California State Water Resources Control Board sets the standards on 1,2,3-trichloropropane, or TCP, in drinking water.
The board's decision is expected sometime within a few months. According to the city manager, the cost of acquiring the equipment to purify city water to the acceptable standards would total millions of dollars.
TCP was used in pesticides about 40 years ago and is considered by California as a human carcinogen. The state water board is planning to limit TCP levels in water to five parts per trillion, which is the lowest amount that current filtration systems can detect.
The City Council also heard budget proposals from Community Development, Recreation and Parks, Visit Bakersfield and the City Attorney’s office. The public hearing on the city's proposed fiscal year 2017-18 budget is Wednesday.