The Elk Grove City Council on Wednesday passed the 12th consecutive balanced budget in the city's history.
, and was passed by a 3-0 vote with Mayor Jim Cooper and Council Member Pat Hume absent.
The three council members present at the meeting praised city staff and City Manager Laura Gill for their work in balancing the budget.
"You took leadership over probably at the toughest time the city's ever seen," Council Member Steve Detrick told Gill. "And you managed to turn over every rock and find places to cut, trim, slice and dice, to make us the leanest, meanest city in the region."
The city budget introduces pension reform and creates five new positions: four information technology employees and a new code enforcement officer.
Below is a press release from the city:
Elk Grove, CA – The Elk Grove City Council unanimously approved a $157 million budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year, which includes no cuts in public service or employee layoffs, and a reserve fund of $14.3 million.
The budget approved at Wednesday’s City Council meeting maintains the current level of service to the residents of Elk Grove and includes a focused effort on code enforcement, economic development, and job creation and business retention efforts.
“The City of Elk Grove’s fiscal prudence has resulted in a healthy, balanced budget that does not compromise service levels, including public safety,” said Mayor Jim Cooper. “Elk Grove is well-positioned for economic recovery because of the fiscal prudence of the City Council and City staff and the involvement of the community in the budget process.”
To ensure City operations are sustainable, the budget also implements changes to employee compensation, including pension reform. Beginning in July, City of Elk Grove employees will assume responsibility for their share of retirement contributions, and new employees hired after July 31, 2012 will receive lowered retirement benefits.
“Despite the most challenging fiscal times in the City’s history, we’ve been able to maintain a balanced budget due in no small part to the vigilance of City of Elk Grove employees,” said City Manager Laura S. Gill. “Our ability to weather these last five years is a testament the prudence, ingenuity and commitment of every single City of Elk Grove employee.”
The FY 2012-2013 budget adds five new positions, including four Information Technology positions and one new Code Enforcement Officer position, responsible primarily for graffiti and abandoned vehicle abatement. The new positions have been funded in part by restructuring contract services and grant funding, respectively.
The General Fund budget, over which the City Council has the most discretion, proposes to draw $1.2 million from City reserve funds for one-time special projects and initiatives. The remaining $14.3 million in the General Fund reserves allows for a robust 28 percent fund balance as a percent of appropriations. This exceeds the industry standard of eight percent, as well as the minimum fund balance reserve of 15 percent set in the City Council’s fund balance reserve policy. The Council also approved a five-year, $80 million capital improvement program, which includes funding for various construction projects in the City, including the East Stockton soundwall renovation, a special waste collection facility, the future Civic Center, Elk Grove Creek Trail Crossing at SR 99, Grant Line road widening and bridge project, and three parks in Laguna Ridge.
The City of Elk Grove FY 2012-13 budget is available online at www.elkgrovecity.org.