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Roseville City Council approves 2013-14 budget

City official: Attempt to close structural deficit nearing completion
By: Sena Christian, Staff Reporter
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Action Taken

Here’s a look at some other items approved during the June 19 council meeting.

Transportation master plan update: The Intelligent Transportation System master plan is the roadmap identifying transportation-related technologies and upgrades for Roseville to implement, and the estimated cost for improvements is $8 million over the next five to 10 years.

Development Services Department: The city has established a new department. Combined with other related organizational changes, the city predicts a salary savings of $159,253 and total compensation savings of $239,053.

Fuel purchase: The city will spend an estimated $1.39 million on unleaded, diesel and ultra low sulphur diesel fuel in the 2013-14 fiscal year through a contract with Hunt and Sons, Inc.

Renewable energy purchase: Roseville Electric will buy 85,000 megawatt hours for under $60,000 as part of the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard to meet compliance requirements for the first period of 2011-13.

Fire Station No. 9: The new fire station in west Roseville will be named after a distinguished member of the Roseville Fire Department, Cpt. Gerald “Jerry” Roskelley.

Utility tree trimming services: The Electric Department will renew a contact with Utility Tree Services to remove branches away from high voltage power lines. The total cost is $472,165 over the five-year contract.

Tires order: The Vehicle Maintenance Department will purchase new and retread tires for the city’s fleet from Wingfoot Commercial Tire Company for an estimated $320,000 in 2013-14 fiscal year.

Irrigation controller upgrade: The city will upgrade 25 irrigation controllers located within nine parks, the Roseville Police Station and streetscape landscaping on Pleasant Grove, Woodcreek Oaks, Country Club and McAnally for not-to-exceed $330,000.

Roseville Electric purchased power: In normal precipitation years, Roseville Electric receives about 18 percent of its energy supply from hydroelectric resources, but 2013 has been a historically dry year and, as a result, there is much less energy available from these resources. The utility will purchase additional market energy to replace the lost hydroelectric generation for a budget impact of $500,000.

~ Sena Christian

The city of Roseville’s ongoing efforts to close its structural deficit is nearing completion, an official said Wednesday.

“We believe in the next year or two we will be balancing our money without the use of one-time money, which is very exciting,” said City Treasurer Russ Branson.

A structural deficit means the city’s revenues don’t match expenses. Roseville has balanced its budget during these tough economic times through the use of carryover funds, and that practice will be employed once again for the 2013-14 budget, which the City Council unanimously approved Wednesday. Councilman Tim Herman was absent.

“I do like the word that you said tonight and that’s ‘balanced,’” said Vice Mayor Carol Garcia. “I think that’s very important and not all cities can say that so I think we’re very lucky.”

Out of the approved $429 million budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year, the bulk of that makes up utilities at 46 percent, and 28 percent constitutes the general fund. Out of this total budget, 38 percent goes to materials, supplies and services, and 35 percent to cover salaries and benefits.

The general fund portion of the approved budget is $119 million, with the majority of that going to police at 26 percent and fire at 22 percent.

As part of the approved budget, the city built in plans to fully pay its long-term liabilities, which includes several million dollars for retiree heath funds, capital improvement projects and street maintenance.

At the same time, the city must maintain about a 10 percent reserve for economic uncertainties. In the new budget, the general fund operating reserve is about 9.96 percent.

Overall, Roseville’s economic forecast seems positive with a growth in sales tax revenue, an increase in single-family permits, the revival of new construction in west Roseville, an increase in tenant improvements to old buildings and a decline in both retail and office vacancy rates. Roseville has about an 8 percent unemployment rate, which is lower than the rest of the region.

The city recently came under fire when the council unanimously approved imposing a “last, best and final” offer for compensation after contract negotiations with the Roseville Police Officers Association broke down. Councilwoman Pauline Roccucci was absent for the May 30 vote.

The police officers union was dissatisfied with the city’s claim that the time had come for them to pay their 9 percent employee share into their CalPERS retirement. The employee share was being picked up by the city. Officers say that 9 percent equates to about a $500 a month cut in their paychecks.

The city will continue to pay the 32 percent employer share into CalPERS.

All other Roseville employee groups had previously agreed to start paying their full employee share. City officials said having employee groups pick up their share of retirement costs is critical in addressing the structural deficit.

Roseville Police Officer Association members received a 6 percent pay increase in July 2012, and will receive increased medical benefits and 45 hours of personal leave time that can be cashed out as part of their new contract terms.