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Less money = dirtier streets
Manteca may reduce street sweeping to bridge deficit
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The odds are Manteca’s streets are going to be a bit dirtier in the coming months.

Reducing street sweeping – something that happens as often as every two weeks – is being targeted as a way the Public Works Department can reduce costs as the city struggles with a projected $11.3 million deficit anticipated to materialize in the fiscal year that starts July 1.

The 15-member City Council appointed citizens advisory committee is meeting today at 3:30 p.m. at the Manteca Senior Center to discuss recommendations that they will advance to elected leaders as possible ways to address the deficit.

Strategies already being put in place are expected to cover half of the anticipated budget gap, according to City Manager Steve Pinkerton.

One way the city is hoping to enhance revenue is by making sure that all development and review processing fees plus required inspection fees cover 100 percent of the city’s actual costs as allowed by law. A state-required nexus that must be done before such a move can be made is in the process of being completed. Cities can’t take in more money than actual costs but there is nothing stopping them from charging less than what it costs to process development plans and building permits.

The deficit is in the general fund and not in the enterprise accounts such as water, solid waste and wastewater. Users pay the actual cost of those municipal services in the form of fees.

The city may take eight positions off of the general fund expenses to shift them to areas that are enterprise in nature or can be paid with development fees. That includes shifting three development staff positions to capital projects, fund remaining development staff through 100 percent fee recovery, shift a mechanic’s position to solid waste since at least 40 hours of work is being done for that enterprise account, and to reassign the storm drain staff.

Those moves could reduce general fund costs by more than $700,000.

The city may also charge solid waste for leaf pick up besides reduce street maintenance and sweeping.

The city may also take over street and traffic light maintenance from private contractors.

Another possible way to generate revenue is to perform vehicle maintenance for other agencies.