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Deeper cuts ahead for Ripon city budget
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RIPON - The Ripon City Council is faced with even more drastic cuts when members will mull over the first draft of the city’s budget for the next fiscal year at their 7 p.m. Tuesday night meeting devoted to budget study.

The council was forced to issue pink slips to workers across the board at the end of the year due to the economic shortfall they already faced – a scenario they didn’t want to see repeated.

In a cover memo to council members and department heads, City Administrator Leon Compton noted that no reduction in salaries or personnel was penned into the budgetary draft he prepared.

The budget proposal – in its preliminary stance – is out of balance by $631,000 despite city employees already agreeing to take furlough days to help keep the city solvent.

The deficit in the city funds is being driven by a drop in revenue, Compton said, not in spending.  If the council wants to adopt a balanced budget, additional cuts in personnel and salaries will be required, he said.

Proposed additional hours at the Ripon Library have been left out of the draft.  Should the council decide to include those costs, $70,000 would be added to the deficit, he added.

The city’s sales tax revenue alone is projected to drop by some $800,000, down from $2.1 million settling at $1.3 million. The in lieu sales tax is expected to bring in $250,000 less, as well, next year.

Building permits are going to be off by $110,000 dropping to an expected $50,000 in the 2010-2011 fiscal year beginning July 1.  Engineering fees are on the downward trend, too, by $34,000 – projected to bring in only $6,000 next year.

The position of a Ripon police officer, serving as a school resource officer (SRO), may be cut for a savings of $44,000 in the budget.  And business license fees are feared to be dropping for another $20,000 less in income.

Miscellaneous revenue will also see a decline of $15,000 bringing that inflow to the general fund to $110,000.