The City Council began its dive into the next fiscal year budget Monday, listening to presentations from the police and fire departments, financial services, the convention center and the city manager's office.
This is one of two presentations to show the city council departments' accomplishments and plans for the coming fiscal year, which begins July 1. The overall theme of each department was keeping the status quo, but increases to the amount the city must pay into the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, CalPERS, has raised costs.
This pull on financial resources is happening to cities across the state.
Capital improvements, which are obtaining, constructing, replacing or improving a city service, are the bulk of new developments in the proposed fiscal year 2017-18 budget for the departments that presented.
Fire Station No. 2, which is the oldest active fire station operated by the city, would have its bathroom updated and locker room revamped for $140,000. The station was built in 1906, and the last remodel of the bathroom was in 1985.
The police department's capital improvement projects include the addition of 63 spaces at the Westside substation, which would be for employees and the public. It's also hoping to upgrade the downtown firing range, reducing bullet ricochet, among other things.
This remodel is a $1.2 million project that would be paid for with seized asset trust funds and Capital Outlay money.
Other improvement projects include changing the entrance gates for the garage at 18th and Eye streets and updating its 30-plus-year-old elevators. The Rabobank Arena plans to replace the ice chiller, HVAC, and video board that is more than 10 years old.
Aside from praise for departments like police and fire, the City Council had little to say about the budget proposals.
Ward 4 Councilman Bob Smith asked for clarification on the Rabobank Arena's expenses and confirmed the center has yet to make a profit.
"What we both hope is that you'll be making money and our costs will be going down," Smith said.
The city is allowed to give up to $415,000 to the arena. That is exactly what the arena is asking for in its proposed budget for next fiscal year.
Ward 7 Councilman Chris Parlier told the fire department, which lists finding alternative funding sources among its goals for next year, "I hope that at some point we find some money to get you the help you need."
The city council expressed an interest in doing public service announcements on overdoses, citing an incident over the weekend in which two men were found dead on White Lane of suspected overdoses.
The next budget workshop will be held at noon on June 5.