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Council Reviews Budget Proposal
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A total proposed annual budget of $13,211,379 was laid out for Escalon City Council members on Monday night, in a special budget workshop session.

The spending plan was broken down into digestible pieces, with information provided on a number of areas regarding revenue, expenditure, capital projects outlay and more.

In the city’s General Fund, basically financing the day to day operations, the operating revenues are projected at $3.79 million, with expenditures listed at $3.9 million. That would see the city at an operating deficit of $122,130. But with an estimated reserve of $2.2 million as of July 1, 2017 it would carry through to see the city with a reserve at the end of the 2017-18 fiscal year as well.

“As is Escalon’s practice, the expenditure projections in this budget are conservative,” noted City Manager Tammy Alcantor.

Revenue projections are also conservative, she said, with the city’s two largest sources of revenue being property tax and sales tax, which make up nearly 69 percent of the General Fund revenue.

Public safety accounts for the largest portion of the budget, about 53 percent of the expenditures, with Public Works and Development Services each running at about 12 percent.

“It’s still exercising our conservativeness, we try not to over project our revenues,” Alcantor added.

And while that means it will take some reserve funds to balance the budget at year’s end, it all is with an eye toward keeping the city in good financial standing.

“The budget may be ugly but we shoot for a pretty audit,” said Alcantor.

Monday night’s workshop drew just a couple of spectators and there was some minor discussion among the council members, with the council also directing Alcantor to remove funding for a transit bus. That was taken out until the city’s transit plan is finalized; it is under discussion and may include a merging of services with the county on a broader level.

The finalized budget plan is scheduled to be brought back for council review and adoption at the Monday, June 19 regular meeting. The session is set for 7 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall on McHenry Avenue. The budget, once adopted, will go into effect on July 1, 2017 and run through June 30, 2018.

Also anticipated that evening is recognition for a Police Officer of the Year honoree and awarding the construction contract for work along Miller Avenue.