Thursday, December 18, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Council learns of new budgetary challenges ahead

By
From page A1 | April 10, 2013 |

The City Council learned Tuesday that, with labor costs much more under control, it won’t be unfunded liabilities that cause it grief when trying to balance next year’s budget, but rather two new dilemmas: paying for road and bike path pavement maintenance and for escalating water costs.

City Manager Steve Pinkerton explained to the council in his preliminary fiscal year 2013-14 budget presentation that the city could be facing a structural deficit of about $2 million next year, and almost $6 million by 2018, largely because of the two massive line items.

As Pinkerton and Interim Public Works Director Bob Clarke warned, it’s likely going to take a large investment by the city over the next few years to adequately address Davis’ deteriorating bicycle paths and roadways.

“No matter which direction you go, you’re looking at a need for a major cash infusion,” Pinkerton said.

How major? Clarke presented the viable potential financing scenarios and among those that he believed the council could consider, none would have the city invest less than about $16 million over the next two years.

Beyond that, Davis likely will have to spend between $5 million and $8 million per year after the initial injection of funds, simply to maintain the quality of the roads and bike paths at current levels.

If the council continued the practice of allocating only $1 million to pavement maintenance annually, as past councils have authorized, more than half of the city’s roads and bike paths would fail by 2032 and the cost of backlogged work to fix those roads would climb to about $440 million.

The city and the council will have options on how to structure a maintenance plan that will address the crumbling roads, Clarke explained, such as lowering the city’s goal for the average pavement condition index and prioritizing important streets. But no matter the plan, there comes a large cost.

Pinkerton said that at this stage, it would be more useful to stake out the amount of funding the council would like to dedicate to roads and then later mold a more detailed pavement management plan.

The council unanimously passed a motion that included having city staff come back with proposals on how to raise the $16 million to $25 million the city likely will need to put the city’s road and bike path infrastructure back on solid footing.

Meanwhile, the increase in water rates that the City Council adopted last month to pay for the Woodland-Davis Clean Water Agency surface water project will be felt by all who consume the city’s water, and that includes the city itself.

Pinkerton estimates that the city’s water consumption costs will rise from about $775,000 to $3 million in 2018 if no effort is made to conserve.

While the city has access to many tools that could help it reduce water consumption, such as replacing inefficient irrigation systems or converting greenbelt turf areas to native or drought-resistant, low-maintenance landscape areas, the general fund is still likely to take a hit.

However, Pinkerton is confident the city can offset some of those costs.

“It’s going to mean looking … at every blade of grass and determining whether that needs to be sod or whether that can be some kind of other nice green thing that doesn’t require as much grass or require as much mowing,” Pinkerton said. “Because that’s another area where we can save costs.

“If we can also reduce our mowing costs at the same time through the types of plantings we can do, hopefully between the two of them we can cut out this whole $2 million potential hit to the budget.”

The city, which is the largest “irrigator” in town, is responsible for watering about 474 acres of parks, greenbelts and public landscapes. Almost half of that space consists of turf.

Pinkerton will return to the council on April 30 with a formal fiscal year 2013-14 budget proposal for its approval.

— 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

    Former foster youths aided by UCD’s Guardian programs

    By Sarah Colwell | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Rain Recyclers saves water for another day

    By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    City plans signs to improve flow on Fifth Street

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    State gets more rain, big mudslide

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Boston bombing suspect in court for first time since 2013

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    U.S., Cuba patch torn relations in historic accord

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Supplies collected for victims of abuse

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    New technology chief will join McNaughton Newspapers

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Feds will discuss Berryessa Snow Mountain protection

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    ‘Longest Night’ service Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Nominate teens for Golden Heart awards

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Journalist will join post-film discussion Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    City offices will take a winter break

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Konditorei presents free holiday concert

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Yolo County needs a few good advisers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Per Capita Davis: Time to stop fooling around

    By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A4

     
    NAMI-Yolo offers free mental health education program

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

    .

    Forum

    Disagreement on mother’s care

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Marovich is a brilliant diplomat

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    And a jolly time was had by all

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    Remember that all lives matter

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Pollution from electric vehicles

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    On skiing: What to know when buying new skis

    By Jeffrey Weidel | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devil boys host Les Curry beginning Thursday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD women gear up for second half of swim season

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Aggie men begin 4-game road trip at Air Force

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Youth roundup: DBC Juniors rider Kanz wins a cyclocross event

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    College Corner: How does applying for financial aid work?

    By Jennifer Borenstein | From Page: B3

     
    What’s happening

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: B3

     
    Anniversary: Barbara and Jan Carter

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

    Something growing in the mailbox

    By Don Shor | From Page: A8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

    Sing and dance along to Cold Shot at Froggy’s

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Point of Brew: Recollections of Christmases past

    By Michael Lewis | From Page: A7

    Golden Bough brings Irish holidays to The Palms

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

     
    Come ‘Home for the Holidays’ and benefit school arts

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Rena Sylvia Smilkstein

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Thursday, December 18, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6

     
    .

    Last Minute Gift Guide

    Young phenoms make YouTube success look like child’s play

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG1

    Classic or contemporary, it’s all holiday music to our ears

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG2

    Teen gifts: ideas for hard-to-buy-for big kids

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG3

    Gift ideas for the health-conscious

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: LMG6

    Hall of Fame proudly puts these toys on the shelf

    By The Associated Press | From Page: LMG7