By Mario Conde

It’s been a hard and difficult road for the City of Calexico these last few years dealing with a big budget deficit but the Council approved a balanced budget last week for the first time in three years.

The Council approved the fiscal year 2011-12 budget were the projected budget revenues for this year will be $17, 686, 773. The budget expenditures will be this year at $17,645 820, that will bring net revenues in this fiscal year to $43,953.

City Manager Oscar Rodriquez said in a lengthy 30 minute report that budget revenues have increased for this year but said that the budget is a living document that will be continue to be worked on and improved as the time goes by. Rodriquez commended finance director and the bargaining units for working and trying to find solutions to this fiscal crisis and said this is not the end but they will continue moving forward.

Rodriquez said that the current property taxes remain flat for this year but have not decline. The projected secured property taxes for 2011-12 will be $1,600,000. In regards to the projected sales tax for the new fiscal years looks very good since its sales tax revenues are going up for the first time in two years. Calexico’s sales tax had a dramatic fall starting in 2008 and reached its low point in the 2009-10 fiscal year. However, this fiscal year has City officials optimistic since the sales taxes are projected to increase to $3.7 million dollars for this year. Public safety will have an increase of 67% in the General Fund appropriations.

Measure H committee approved one million dollars to Police and Fire Services with 60% going to Police and 40% going to Fire Services. This amount would be allocated on a monthly basis or $83,333.00 per month spilt on a 60/40 basis. This allocation will only be for the 2011-12 fiscal year in order to maintain the current service levels from public safety.  The usage of Measure H funding would be used to supplement the cost for materials and supplies budget, as well as other non-personnel cost. By using the Measure H funding this way, public safety will be able to use the available general funds to cover personnel cost and prevent the lay-off or further reduction of public safety personnel, as well as any other services.

The Council congratulated the great work made by City Manager Oscar Rodriquez and his staff to ease the deficit and bring the City into the black. The Council approved the 2011-2012 budget unanimously.

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