Manteca residents have reduced water consumption by 32 percent to meet state mandated cutbacks during the ongoing drought emergency.
That’s the good news.
At the same time, water enterprise account revenue has dropped.
That’s the bad news because if it falls too low and starts dipping into reserves it could trigger a rate hike.
Municipal Finance Director Suzanne Mallory told the Manteca City Council on Tuesday that through May revenue was down over $1 million compared to the same point last fiscal year. She noted that isn’t even when the biggest water cutback took place — 36 percent in June and 32 percent in July.
Mallory noted a certain cushion has to be maintained in reserves as well as pay the debt service to satisfy bondholders. So far it hasn’t been a problem.
Mallory told the council, however, that she is closely mointoring the situation.
It has been 10 years since the last water rate hike in Manteca.
Should it rain, City of
Manteca is covered
Mayor Steve DeBrum asked a question Tuesday he already knew the answer to — how healthy is Manteca’s budget in the event of another rain day?
He posed the question to Finance Director Suzanne Mallory after a citizen expressed concern that the city was in a precarious situation financially.
More than 20 percent of the general fund that covers municipal costs from police and fire protection to streets, parks and more is in reserve. There is $8 million in a financial stability reserve for when the city suffers the impacts of an economic downtown, $3.2 million for emergencies, and $1.1 million in an economic revitalization fund designed to have money available if an opportunity comes along to help make a significant improvement to the local economy.
That’s $12.2 million of reserves in the general fund.
Other accounts such as the water, solid waste, and wastewater enterprise funds also have reserves able to cushion economic downturns or emergencies.