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Lathrop may end year with $7.7M in general fund reserves
esisting Lathrop City Logo copy
The current logo has been used by the city since the early 1990s. - photo by HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin

If all goes as planned, Lathrop will end the next fiscal year with approximately $7.7 million in general fund reserves – one of the factors that has helped Lathrop emerge as one of the 10 most fiscally-sound cities in the State of California according to the California State Auditor.

The Lathrop City Council met this week to go through the biannual budget adoption process, which would fund Lathrop through the middle of 2023 – a process that is scheduled to include the transition from the contracted policing services from the San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Office that the city is currently enjoying to the first standalone police department in the more than 30-year history of Lathrop.

According to the introductory letter penned by City Manager Salvatore in the proposed 2021-2023 budget, the city’s financial position played a key role in the decision to move forward with what has been a longstanding goal, and the achievement is due in no small part to the stability that has been seen at Lathrop City Hall over the last decade.

“Over the past decade, the City Council and Staff have focused on ensuring a sustainable economic future for the City of Lathrop supporting steady growth projections for the future. The City has a goal to provide an environment for strong industrial, commercial and residential growth that has resulted in a solid financial foundation,” Salvatore said in his opening letter. “The California State Auditor Office, in its most recent report, has ranked Lathrop in the top 10 of fiscally sound cities, out of 471 cities throughout California.

“This has been possible because of stability in City Hall staffing, with a skilled and committed City staff team. These factors have positioned the City to be able to stand up a new Police Department to provide services that continue to meet the needs of residents, businesses, schools, community groups and visitors in Lathrop in a cost-effective manner.”

While Lathrop has kept a core group of key staff members in pivotal positions during Salvatore’s time at the helm, other cities haven’t been so lucky – Manteca, for example, saw nearly every single department head-level position turn over in less than two years, and is currently without a permanent City Manager, Police Chief, or Fire Chief.

And a big part of the city’s financial success has come from growth – not just in the large industrial warehouse buildings popping up along I-5 and the Highway 120 Bypass, but also residential home construction that has been hot during the first quarter of 2021.

According to the budget proposal, Lathrop has issued 258 housing permits through the first three months of this year – 119 multi-family permits, and 139 single family permits – that would put it on track to issue more than 1,000 new housing permits this calendar year.

Last year Lathrop issued 826 housing permits – nearly double that of the previous year.

The Lathrop Gateway Business Park also has nearly 1 million square feet of warehouse space under construction between two buildings, while the Tri-Point Logistics Center has nearly 1.5 million square feet of warehouse space under construction – including a 921,676 square foot building.

And while the city was working to come up with the funding necessary to ensure that the levees protecting Lathrop’s development be able to withstand a 200-year storm, it looks like they’ll have a little bit more time to get all of that figured out.

Earlier this year the California State Legislature passed Assembly Bill 838 that will grant a three-year extension to the deadline to have levees that protect developable land shored up to withstand 200-year flood conditions. The previous deadline was set for 2025, so Lathrop will now have until 2028 to retrofit the levees that protect Mossdale and Central Lathrop as well as the rest of the community.

All of Lathrop’s current city limits are within the 200-year flood plain.

For additional information, or to obtain a copy of the proposed budget, visit the City of Lathrop’s website at

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.