Brawley Council Continues Budget Planning
BY CHRIS FURGUSON
On Tuesday, May 2, 2017, the City of Brawley continued their series of special meetings in preparation for their upcoming budget approval. This time, the meeting focused on enterprise and special funds which have financial sources separate from the general fund.
Of key interest of the council and relevant city staff were over three million dollars in grant-funded projects that were either on the verge of expiring or in the process of receiving extensions. These projects included a series of ADA approved shaded stops along the city’s Gold Line and ADA improvements at Hinojosa Park on the south east side of the city.
Most of the funding for these projects came from federal or state grants and cannot be used for other purposes. Another problem is that there are a limited number of city staff available to work on these projects, including a small number of engineers in the public works department.
“Many of our projects require hiring outside engineers to accomplish these,” said City Manager Rosanna Moore during her presentation. Moore clarified that there were only three qualified city engineers available to design these projects in addition to their other duties.
One of the city’s biggest potential projects would be a water and sewer pipe replacement along Main Street between first and eighth main project that requires an additional $2 million in funding and would close portions of Main street and other streets for at least two years.
A suggestion was made by council member Norma Kastner-Jauregui to use settlement funds from a recent road transfer by CalTrans to fix the Main Street pipe. However, City Manager Moore gave a quick rejection of that idea, adding that the money could be used for more pressing purposes.
The City also plans on continuing their multi-year street rehabilitation project which will be going through the 11th phase this coming fiscal year.
Other projects mentioned during the workshop included a ADA improvements along B Street near the railroad tracks and a $620,000 Plaza lighting project that has been in the works for several years.
As this was a workshop, city staff were given direction to continue work on the preliminary budget that would be passed at the final Brawley meeting in June.