By Flor Sanchez
DAVIS– During the City Council meeting on Monday, May 24, 2021, Finance Director Elena Adair and City Manager Mike Webb discussed the proposed budget for Fiscal Years 2021-2022 and 2022-2023.
The proposal budget is a draft that will be under council consideration, this document will be open to revisions as the proposed date of adoption will be June 22, 2021.
In an introductory message, Webb stated in regards to the proposed budget that it “looks a bit different than the budgets we’ve seen in years past, it’s with an eye towards providing greater transparency in how funds have been spent or proposed to be spent in the next two year period…”
Topics discussed include Citywide Look (revenue and expenditures), Funding Requests, Organizational Changes, General Fund and the Capital Improvement Program.
The total estimated revenues for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021-2022 is $199,095,210. According to Adair, the top three sources are fees and charges for services (e.g. water, sewers) with 34.5 percent, intergovernmental revenues (e.g. grants) 13.1 percent and property tax with 12.5 percent.
The total estimated expenditures for FY 2021-2022 is $214,734,434. Public Work (PW) Utilities & Operations account for 37 percent and PW Engineer & Transportation account for 15 percent.
After looking at these numbers, Adair addressed a notable observation: Why are there more expenditures than revenues?
Adair responded stating, “One would ask, are we overspending? Not really, a lot of the time what happens is we collect a number of revenues over a period of years and once we have sufficient resources in place we’ll spend the funds.”
As the budget discussion progressed, New Funding Requests were outlined by the department.
For the Police Department, new funding requests include: professional services for RIPA (The Racial and Identity Profiling Act), transparency dashboard improvements and enhanced education and public safety analyst/management analyst to review public safety data. This would amount to an estimated $135,000 for FY 2021-2022.
The Fire Department includes tools, radios, PPE, training, overtime and part-time staffing, plan review services and ladder truck equipment. The total estimated amount for FY 2021-2022 is $1,029,000.
The Community Development and Sustainability includes North Davis upland habitat area, downtown parking structure and full funding for sustainability coordinator—with an estimated $168,000. Overall, this department estimates $1,246,500 for the FY 2021-2022.
Other departments include public works engineering & transportation, public works utilities and operations, parks and communities services, city manager’s office, finance, humans resources and information system
Regarding organizational changes, the two key areas are the Urban Forestry Program (“Moved from Parks and Community Services to PW Utilities & Operations” (Proposed Budget)) and reimagining public safety (“Moved the homeless outreach team from Police Department to City Manager’s Office” and “Working with Council Subcommittee on other organizational changes” (Proposed Budget)).
As for the General Fund Summary Adair stated, “We are including $2.3 million one time funding from American Rescue Act and so that is certainly assisting us to get our fund balance and reserves to a higher level…we expect that ending fund balance will be at about 13.4 percent in fiscal year 2021-2022.”
According to the Proposed Budget, the General Fund Revenue for Fiscal Year 2021-2022 would be $71,633,994 and for FY 2022-2023, it would be $70,842,300.
In regards to the FY 2021-2023 Capital Improvement Program, Adair said, “We expect that, over a period of two years, we will be committing $54.2 million in capital funding…”
Some of the 2021-2023 Capital Improvement Projects include the Transportation Infrastructure Rehabilitation with $11,691,000 and Anderson Road Improvements accounting for $4,154,300—transportation accounts for 43 percent of the funds.
The Davis public had some input regarding the budget proposal. Several calls from public commenters emphasized the same point: Ponteverde and Tulip Crossing Project should not be postponed to the 2022-2023 fiscal year but should rather be included in this year’s budget.
Many commenters, including a 12 year old, have expressed their concern and urgency to have this project completed as soon as possible.
Public commenter Julie Stark stated, regarding the project, “We need it now. We have…between 30-40 kids that cross Tulip every single day to go to Koramatsu—to go to Harper…it is a very very dangerous street…it is absolutely impossible to see the lines in the road, you just can’t see it, we need something that’s visible.”
Stark reiterated, “We just need a flashing sign, that’s all we ask for…we don’t need the fancy sidewalk, we don’t need the trail moved or anything, we just need the crosswalk to be more visible.”
The budget proposal topic wrapped up with the next steps toward adopting the proposed budget. On June 1, 2021, City Council will have a budget workshop.
Flor Sanchez is a third-year student at UC Davis, currently double majoring in Communications and Managerial Economics. She is from Patterson, CA and enjoys traveling.