With new budget the City will focus on public safety and maintenance
The City of South San Francisco prides itself on being fiscally prudent and accountable, with balanced budgets that fund services important to the community and maintain a great quality of life. Even though the local economy has emerged from the Great Recession, as reflected by an 11% increase in revenues, the City remains conservative in its spending, focusing on public safety and maintenance of roads and parks.
“For years, the City has deferred maintenance in parks and streets in order to keep the budget balanced during difficult economic times,” said City Manager Mike Futrell. “Revenues may be up but it’s not a surplus. We are pleased that the improved economy is allowing us to start catching up on the backlog of parks and street maintenance.”
This Wednesday, the South San Francisco City Council will review next year’s revenues and expenditures, which calls for adding a number of new positions including a crime analyst, librarian and two new preschool teachers, funds to allow Orange Memorial Park pool to expand operating hours, and to address deferred parks maintenance projects.
In addition, the City has increased its reserves from $16 million to $16.7 million. “This reserve allows the City to weather the ups and downs of the economy and it’s critical for our future well-being,” says Finance Director Richard Lee. “For example, during the Great Recession in 2009-10, the City relied on its reserves to continue to provide essential services.”
The City’s General Fund revenues are expected to be $84.6 million for FY 2015-16, which is an 11 percent increase over last year. Expenditures are expected to be $84.5 million next year with 56 percent allotted for the Police and Fire Departments. Another 17 percent will be allotted for the Parks and Recreation Department, which includes the expansion of the Monte Verde Before and After School Learning Program to accommodate up to 150 students per day, which is a 67 percent increase in the number of students instructed daily.
Total new appropriations in the Capital Improvement Project for FY2015-16 are $21.1 million. Among the projects:
· $745,000 for park renovation and maintenance projects, including Buri Buri Park, Francisco Terrace Park, Winston Manor Park and Clay Park;
· $5.2 million for street and traffic improvements;
· $875,000 for storm drain improvements;
· $1.8 million for maintenance of city buildings, including renovation of the Grand Avenue Library and improvements to the Magnolia Senior Center; and
· $12.4 million for sewer pipe rehabilitation and sewer replacement projects.
To understand the priorities of residents and help set budget priorities, the City recently conducted community outreach, including eight town hall meetings, obtaining feedback from more than 1,200 residents. The feedback showed that residents value the following services:
· Maintaining emergency response times and neighborhood police patrols;
· Maintaining streets and repairing potholes;
· Crime and gang prevention programs;
· After school and summer programs for youth and teens; and
· Maintaining library hours and library programs for youth
This new budget will allow the City to keep public safety as its number one priority. “It’s critical that we maintain essential city services to effectively serve our residents, including public safety and after-school programs that help keep youth and teens safe and off the streets, out of trouble and away from drugs and crime,” says Police Chief Jeff Azzopardi.
The City Council is set to review the budget this Wednesday
To view the City Council Agenda & staff reports please CLICK HERE. The meeting will be held at the MSB 33 Arroyo Drive at 7pm. You may also view live City meetings on your local cable channel listed below:
Astound CH 26
Comcast CH 27
AT&T CH 99