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$68.5M spending plan for Manteca before council

Manteca’s spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year has a bit more cushion.

It is because an analysis of sales tax trends conducted in the past few weeks shows sales tax should come in at $18.9 million in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2023. That compares to last month’s preliminary estimate of $18,350,000.

The $550,000 increase when combined with other last minute changes to expenses and revenues means the city should end the next fiscal year with an undistributed general fund reserve of $541,652.

During the budget workshop earlier this month the council was told by staff to expect a razor thin $42,000 in terms of the undistributed reserves.

That doesn’t mean the city doesn’t have cash set aside for expenses that aren’t budgeted for specifically in the fiscal year starting July 1.

The city has roughly 20 percent of its general fund designated for specific purposes in operating reserves.

The City Council on Tuesday when they meet at 7 p.m. is being asked to adopt a general fund budget of $68.5 million. The general fund covers day-to-say services such as police, fire, routine street maintenance, park upkeep and general government expenses.

There is another $135.5 million in other funds such as the water sewer, and solid waste accounts and fees as well as growth fees and grants obtained that are going for specific projects and are restricted in how they can be spent.

Once all budgets are combined, the citywide budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year is pegged at $207 million

While there is real growth on the revenue side, much of the $7.1 million gain in tax receipts for the general fund is the result of inflation increasing the price of goods which in turn increases tax receipts.

The expense side is being driven up by inflation as well as the goods and services the city uses are being ravaged by inflation.

Despite the projected 11 percent rise in general fund unrestricted revenues for the next fiscal year that translates into $6.6 million the city has a list of unfunded pressing projects that need to be tackled that impact public health, public safety and municipal services such as street upkeep that exceeds $37.8 million.

Keep in mind these reflect needed expenditures to do the most pressing work and are far from being a wish list of nonessentials.

On top of that there 47 positions requested to help the city keep up with service levels as growth continues or else address service deficiencies that aren’t being funded in the proposed budget.

There are a dozen positions that will be added but only three will come from the general fund.

The new personnel envisioned in the proposed spending plan includes  three firefighters, a police lieutenant and two police officers funded with Measure M sales tax receipts. Those positions won’t be funded until midyear when the city will make sure it has adequate revenue coming in as projected.

There is also a police officer trainee that will be covered by the general fund.

A homeless/housing services manager as well as project manager to move public works projects forward are among the positions proposed for funding.

Among the positions not being funded is a community service officer for traffic enforcement utilizing Measure M funds.

The need list for capital improvement projects includes:

*$8.7 million for a central sewer liner to avoid an aging pipe from deteriorating.

*$23 million for reclaimed water improvements.

*4.5 million for pavement maintenance.

*$1 million for a downtown specific plan.
*$6.5 million to rebuild the Powers Avenue fire station.

*$800,000 for a replacement fire engine.

*$1.175 million for Northgate softball field complex lighting renovations.
*$2 million for four replacement solid waste collection trucks.

The City Council meets Tuesday at 7 p.m., the Civic Council, chambers, 1001 W. Center St.