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City unveils proposed budget

Spending plan includes reopening of Maidu Library on Saturdays; no staff layoffs
By: Sena Christian, The Press Tribune
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Instead of chopping away at services and programs, the City of Roseville is planning for additions in 2011-12.

The proposed budget, presented during a public workshop Monday, includes no reduction in service levels throughout the city, and no proposed layoffs or furloughs.

“This is the first time in four years we’re not proposing any major cuts in people,” said City Treasurer Russ Branson.

The budget includes reopening the Maidu Library on Saturdays. The library closed on that day as a result of cuts made in the 2010-11 budget.

The spending plan includes increased funding for materials at all three libraries. The city will also hire a new librarian.

The proposed budget of $410 million includes $116.8 for the general fund and $194.2 million for utilities. The current fiscal year's budget is $407 million.

"This is what we call a status-quo budget that aims to maintain the same levels of service (as last year)," said City Manager Ray Kerridge during the workshop.

The local economy shows signs of improvement, with sales tax rising and property taxes stabilizing, Branson said. Sales tax revenue will account for an estimated 34 percent of general fund revenues for 2012, making it the city’s largest revenue source.

Roseville ranks No. 12 in sales tax revenue among California cities, according to the budget. The Westfield Galleria fire in October did not significantly impact sales tax revenue. The proposed budget projects property taxes at $29 million, which is a slight decline from last year.

The proposed budget is balanced despite a structural deficit, Branson said. This is achieved by the city's suggestion to suspend contributions to three internal services funds -- workers' compensation, retiree health and Capital Improvement Project rehabilitation -- and the use of one-time money.

The balanced budget also requires city employees to pay their employee share to the California Public Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) starting in January. Together, these methods will save the city $14.5 million.

Branson said having employees pay their share is needed to address the structural deficit. This still needs to be negotiated and agreed upon with all the bargaining groups.

"We just feel this is a benefit we can't afford anymore," Branson said.

The Roseville Police Department, with a proposed 2011-12 budget of $30.1 million, will focus on reorganizing to find new ways to fully implement its community-oriented policing strategy during the upcoming fiscal year.

The Roseville Fire Department, with a proposed budget of $23.8 million, will construct Fire Station No. 9 to serve the West Roseville Specific Plan.

During public comment, resident and former city employee Teresa Gemignani questioned the Fire Department's plan to build a new fire station. Gemignani was one of about 10 residents in attendance at the workshop.

"If you're having trouble today keeping two units going at Station No. 7, what are you going to do in another year or two when you are going to have to fund nine new firefighters?" Gemignani asked.

Branson clarified that the city is proposing moving over firefighters from Fire Station No. 8, which is a temporary station, to the new fire station.

"We're not going to be able to afford in a year nine new firefighters," Branson said.

The budget also includes spending for the Parks and Recreation Department to construct three new parks and renovate one park.

Kerridge told the Press Tribune the budget reflects Roseville’s attempt to “get ahead of the wave” and beat the budget doldrums.

“Other budgets are in defensive mode,” he said. “But we see the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Roseville City Council will vote on adopting the budget June 15.

Sena Christian can be reached at senac@goldcountrymedia.com.