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Will council agree to spend another $300K?
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LATHROP – Over the course of the last six months the Lathrop City Council has approved spending just over $191,000 for a restroom at River Park South, the demolition and reconstruction of the 7th Street Skate Park, study space at City Hall and solar lighting at Woodfield Park.

And now the city needs more for staffing.

An overhaul of workload assignments and reconfigurations at City Hall – including the addition of one position and promoting another – as well as amendments to cover unexpended expenses could end up costing just over $300,000 from the city’s general fund reserves if the council gives its blessing.

The request, if approved, would also create a general fund for Measure C – making it possible to automatically track revenues and expenses associated with the one-cent sales tax increase that voters gave the green light to in 2012.

According to the report, the costs that would be associated with the decision and the changes that would be made to staffing and alignment at City Hall would include:

uA payment to the city of $177,000 for the solar power generated by the city’s solar project. That income, however, would be almost completely offset by a $162,000 bill to pay for inspection services and ADA and electrical upgrades associated with the project.

uNearly $500,000 in professional service costs that weren’t expected when the city approved the budget in July. Staff is asking for $200,000 for the City Attorney to help fund special counsel, $150,000 to fund retiree contribution benefits and $120,000 for the ADA and inspection upgrades associated with the solar project.

uA reduction in revenue and expenses of nearly $110,000 by Lathrop Police Services because of a grant received by the Office of Traffic Safety.

uCapital Improvement Project costs of $42,000 for electrical upgrades for the solar project.

uThe positional transfer of the City Manager’s executive assistant to the City Clerk’s position, which would end up saving the city nearly $113,000 annually.

uThe addition of a recreation coordinator that would help organize youth and athletic leagues. The coordinator would cost the city just over $67,000 a year.

uAdding a senior animal services officer position that already exists within the city for a cost of $7,300 a year.

uOverhauling existing positions like a senior administrative assistant, executive assistant and projects and programs manager to better benefit operations of the city.

Additional clarification is also needed to ensure that certain positions – directors of finance, parks and recreation, administrative services, community development and public works as well as the city clerk and the city engineer – are designated as department heads.

If the council gives its blessing, the city will still have $5.5 million in general fund reserves after the cash expenditure.