Friday, December 19, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Budget discussions dominate council meeting agenda

Bike paths and roads throughout Davis are in sore need of repair, but the necessary work would be expensive. Can the city budget bear the burden? Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | April 09, 2013 |

Despite a slow but encouraging climb back from the recession that thumped the local economy in 2008, the city of Davis, like many communities across the state, continues to face a long list of tough budget decisions that stand in the way of short- and long-term fiscal sustainability.

To begin to grasp the city’s still-precarious fiscal standing, the City Council on Tuesday will be tossed a bowl full of budget-related agenda items that it must manage if it wants to reach solid fiscal ground.

Among the regular items on the agenda, the council will hear an update on the status of the budget for fiscal year 2012-13, a preview of the budget for fiscal year 2013-14 and, enmeshed within those discussions, the plan and associated costs to maintain the city’s roads, bike paths, street lights and parks watering.

The meeting will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the Community Chambers of City Hall, 23 Russell Blvd. It will be broadcast live on Comcast Channel 16 and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99. It also will be streamed lived on the city’s website at www.cityofdavis.org/media.

2013-14 budget preview

City Manager Steve Pinkerton begins his fiscal year 2013-14 budget report to the council with the news that the city will have to overcome a $2 million structural deficit in the general fund next year and that it will have to “make some difficult choices to fund deferred maintenance and infrastructure needs” to address it.

However, as Pinkerton points out, that deficit could have snowballed even further had the city not signed favorable contracts with the majority of its labor groups through labor negotiations over the past year. The city has yet to lock in deals with the Davis Firefighters Local 3494 and the Davis City Employees Association.

“The savings agreed to with our labor partners have made the funding gap far more manageable,” Pinkerton said in the report.

That deficit level assumes, however, that the city will begin paying for its water and sewer services, that the city’s negotiation team will have reached deals with the remaining two labor groups by July 1 and that the council ultimately will decide to drop firefighter staffing levels to 11, per the recommendation of former Interim Fire Chief Scott Kenley, among other things.

Still, even with a softer payroll and the other proposed cost-saving measures, Pinkerton believes the council will have to look at additional revenue sources such as increasing its half-cent sales tax rate, which expires in 2016, and its parks maintenance tax when it expires in 2018.

The budget item is informational. Pinkerton will return on April 30 with a full budget plan for the council’s review and approval.

Roads, bike paths

No decision within the budget’s deferred maintenance line item may garner more attention from the council than road and bike path infrastructure repairs.

In February, a consultant hired to assess the city’s road and bike path infrastructure stunned the council with its findings, explaining that if the city doesn’t increase the amount of money it allocates annually to roads and bike path maintenance, a backlog of about $440 million in repairs will be built up by 2032.

Meanwhile, the majority of streets and bike paths in Davis will have failed.

For the past few years, the city has dedicated only about $1 million to maintaining its road and bike path systems.

Interim Public Works Director Bob Clarke will lay out several short-term actions the council can take Tuesday — including lowering the general goal for the average pavement condition index (PCI) from 70 to the low 60s and compiling a list of “higher priority” streets and paths to maintain moving forward — before coming back later in the year with a more complete financing plan.

Water, lights

The council also will receive brief presentations on the city’s street light maintenance and parks water management programs Tuesday.

With the City Council last month adopting higher water rates over the next five years to pay for the surface water project, the city — which plans to budget for the water it uses on city property next year unlike it has in the past — is looking at ways to reduce water costs.

The council will receive a report Tuesday on just how the city can reduce its water consumption costs, which are expected to rise to $3 million per year by 2018 should no conservation measures be taken.

Staff reports for all agenda items can be found on the city’s website at www.cityofdavis.org under the City Council Meeting Agendas page.

— Reach Tom Sakash at tsakash@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8057. Follow him on Twitter at @TomSakash

Comments

comments

Tom Sakash

Tom Sakash covers the city beat for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at tsakash@davisenterprise.net, (530) 747-8057 or @TomSakash.
  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
    UCD, UC team up to study effects of climate change

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Teens’ goal? Helping other soccer players around the world

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    There’s a plate for you at the Davis Holiday Meal

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Police seek suspect in hit-and-run collision

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

    Help sought in search for runaway Davis teen

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Feds release ‘framework’ to rate colleges

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Gunfire leads to DUI arrest

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

     
    Creative women share food, friendship

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Konditorei presents free holiday concert

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Welcome 2015 with Mumbo Gumbo at a gala bash

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Luminaria display planned in West Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sierra Club calendars on sale Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Blue Christmas service planned at Davis churches

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Willett bench is a labor of love

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A4

     
    Author! Author! UCD hosts talks, Q and A on Asia-focused books

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Libraries will be closed around the holidays

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    See diving ducks at city wetlands tour

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Downtown gift cards get a new perk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

    Meditation, Buddhism classes offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    A home for the holidays?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8 | Gallery

    Nobel Prize winner will discuss research related to autism

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Traditional carols service is Saturday at St. Martin’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    Explorit: Experience nano this spring

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Soup’s On will benefit NAMI-Yolo

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Donate to STEAC at Original Steve’s

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    Supplies collected for victims of abuse

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Grandmothers support group meets weekly

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11, 1 Comment

     
    .

    Forum

    He needs them to pay up

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Cheers and Jeers: Have you ever seen the rain?

    By Our View | From Page: A14

    Defeating Ebola involves medicine, and prayers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A14 | Gallery

     
    Kudos to Central Park Gardens donors and volunteers

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A14

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A14

     
    .

    Sports

    Cousins is back in lineup but Kings fall

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devil boys hold off scrappy Rio Linda

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Lady Blue Devils rout an undefeated Liberty squad

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    UCD RB coach Wright heads to Florida; what next?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

    Aggies nab junior college defensive lineman

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Nostra-Dunning makes his college bowl picks

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: B2

    Tennyson’s first goal is the difference in Sharks win

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    Name droppers: Trio elected to academy of inventors

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    .

    Arts

    DMTC announces auditions for ‘Sweeney Todd’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

     
    ‘Before Midnight’ screening is tonight

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

     
    DMTC plans New Year’s Eve party

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

    Tom Rigney and Flambeau to play

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A15

     
     
    .

    Business

    After 19 years, Alfa Romeo returns

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: A16

     
    .

    Obituaries

    Rena Sylvia Smilkstein

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Comics