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Budget Work Gains Steam
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Though it isn’t due for several weeks yet, the framework is in place and progress is being made on the City of Escalon budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year. The year begins on July 1, 2013 and runs through June 30, 2014.

City Manager John Abrew said department heads have already been working on their specific area budgets and the city as a whole is keeping close tabs on the bottom line.

“Our goal is definitely to have a balanced general fund operating budget,” Abrew said. “All the departments are working on the budget and we have scheduled a budget workshop for the end of May.”

The workshop will provide an opportunity for city residents to take a look at and offer suggestions about the proposed spending plan.

The current fiscal year began with an adopted operating budget with a deficit of about $146,000, said Abrew.

“That was covered by reserves and we actually were a little better at the mid-year review,” he said of making up some of that deficit spending. “We are close to balanced now and we are continually looking at our operating efficiencies.”

The workshop is scheduled on Tuesday, May 28 at 5 p.m. at City Hall, 2060 McHenry.

“We are looking to adopt (the budget) the second meeting in June,” added Abrew. “Our charge is still to operate a sustainable organization with the revenues available.”

Abrew and Finance Director Tammy Alcantor said the budget will have a general fund operating budget of about $2.9 million and they hope to have revenues in roughly the same target area.

“We can’t control the revenues that come in,” Abrew admitted, but said recent commercial and residential development should help bring in some more funds. He added that the staff has worked hard to make sure the needs of residents are met, even with cutbacks in staffing levels.

“It’s a real team effort,” Abrew said.