A fiscal year budget for 2021/22 was on the agenda for adoption Monday night, June 21 at the regular Escalon City Council meeting.
An earlier workshop on the proposed plan saw no significant changes made or called for, with the plan put to the council for approval coming in at $18,127,555.
Of the expenditures, the largest outlay is in the ‘Safety’ portion of the budget, primarily funding the police department, with that budget topping out over $3.3 million. Next in line is the city’s Public Works Department, at more than $715,000.
“For the fiscal year 2021/22, the City is projecting $12,683,384 in Revenues with a total of $18,127,555 in Expenditures. This results in our expenditures exceeding our revenues or what is commonly called a deficit,” City Manager Tammy Alcantor wrote in her budget overview. “The balance of the funds needed to cover the projected expenses will come from the Reserves of relative funds.”
As is customary, she pointed out, expenditures are predicted on the high side and revenues on the low side, in hopes that the deficit by year’s end will be less than projected.
“My budgets have always been worst case scenario,” noted Alcantor.
The current year deficit, she explained, is less than what was projected, and she is hoping the same will hold true at the end of the new fiscal year next June 30.
“We were able to weather it pretty well,” Alcantor added of getting through the COVID-19 pandemic as a city. “We did get some CARES Act money and some American Rescue Plan Act funds, that’s helping make up for the lost sales tax revenue.”
The budget prepared for the city is linked to the City Council-City Manager Strategic Goals developed each year.
“These goals are at the heart of what our community expects from its local government,” said Alcantor. “In turn, these goals are woven throughout the fiscal year 2021/22 Annual Budget, which allocates the resources necessary to achieve our shared vision.”
Listed as the Fiscal Year 2021/22 Goals are: Maintenance McHenry Sewer Line Phase II; construction New Well #1A; explore areas of funding SSJID Surface Water Connection; continue efforts for Wastewater Treatment Plant Upgrade; continue efforts for Senior Housing; continue review of Sign Ordinance.
Alcantor said council members had the chance to review the spending plan at the June 7 budget workshop and approval on Monday will see the new budget go into effect for the start of the new fiscal year on Thursday, July 1.
The new year should be a busy one, she added, as the council is reviewing Requests For Qualifications from potential senior housing builders and are also looking forward to the return of National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 3.
National Night Out this year coincides with Park Fete Week, which starts with the Senior Mr. and Mrs. Escalon luncheon on Tuesday afternoon, and additional Fete-themed events Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 4 and 5 with the actual two-day celebration on Friday and Saturday, Aug. 6 and 7.
“That is definitely going to be a community week,” Alcantor said.
Other projects in process include the installation of solar panels at several city properties and the switchover of water meters to automatic reading.