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Manteca City Council considers cutting library funds to balance $45.4M budget
The Manteca City Council may reduce library hours so they can increase undesignated general fund reserves by $51,000. - photo by Bulletin file photo

No Manteca City Council members on Tuesday objected to a proposal to yank $51,000 in funding for the Manteca Library that could end up with the library being closed on Sundays.

The proposal to cut library funding was part a review of the city’s preliminary $45.4 million general fund budget the council reviewed on Tuesday. They will give staff precise instruction on what to include — and not include — in the final budget at a special meeting set for next Tuesday, June 11, at 4 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

City Manager Tim Ogden, responding to a question from council, said not paying the $51,000 would lead to Sunday hours being dropped at the Manteca branch of the Stockton-San Joaquin Library System Manteca is just one of three of the system’s 16 branches that is open on Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The other libraries are in Tracy and Mountain House.

The city provides the building and covers maintenance costs as well as utilities while the county in partnership with the City of Stockton pays for staff as well as books and other materials.

When budget cuts were made during the recession, the city shifted funds they were providing to augment book purchases made by the system for the Manteca branch to help pay for the restoration of some of the hours that had been cut weekdays. The city’s book augmentation contribution of $7,000 was kicked up to $51,000 to restore hours. As the library system funding bounced back from tax receipt shortfalls, the money for staffing was moved to restore Sunday hours that had been in place before the recession at the Manteca branch.

Even if Sunday hours are eliminated the library would still be open Mondays from noon to 8 p.m., Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesdays from 1 to 6 p.m., Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The cutting of library hours was part of a series of proposed budget additions and deletions that netted $353,500 in savings to swell the projected undesignated reserves expected on June 30, 2020 to reach $1,203,507. 

The budget calls for $20.7 million in assigned reserves. With the $353,500 the city is saving in part by cutting library funding along with $400,000 in additional new revenue project that includes $300,000 in new sales tax generation and $100,000 the city expects Manteca Unified to pay for school resource officers, the city has bumped up what originally was $450,077 in undesignated reserves to $1,203,507. That brings the overall general fund balance the city expects to have to $21,917,652. The general fund expenditures for day-to-day operations such as police, fire and parks upkeep is $45,956,462. The city’s reserve policy calls for a 25 percent set aside of general fund expenditures in a fiscal stability reserve to cover emergencies and unexpected shortfalls in revenue. That amount in the proposed budget is $13,327,424.

The other reserves are $2,221,237 for pension stabilization, $1,332,742 for capital facilities, $1,332,742 for technology reserves, and $2,500,000 for economic development.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email