The city was able to evade new layoffs and furloughs for the coming fiscal year.
Spending from the city’s general fund is slated to decrease from $8.27 million in 2009-10 to $7.93 million in 2010-11.
“With this budget, we’ve taken our belt in another notch, but I’m not sure we can go any further without severely impacting the services we offer,” Mayor Jim Reed said. “Until we know the outcome of things like the Town Center and the lawsuit with the county, we’ve got to keep things unusually lean and mean.”
City Manager Steve Ando said the city has enough money in reserve to last through 2013 without new significant income or a dramatic drop in revenue.
At the June 2 City Council meeting, city leaders discussed cutting at least one job at the senior center and having employees in the recreation division manage the center.
Ando said eliminating the senior center job would save the general fund budget about $50,000 a year.
However, at the June 16 meeting, the council approved hiring a part-time position in order to keep senior programs running at the center. There may still be changes to the senior center schedule.
Senior center board president Ferd Bergholz thanked the council for compromising on the part-time position.
“I’m glad city staff and the council is supportive of finding a way to make this next year easier,” Bergholz said.
This budget is the last that will include income from Measure C, a quarter-cent sales tax that is expected to contribute about $500,000 to the city’s general fund in the coming year.
Future discussions are expected to focus on how to make up the lost Measure C money after council members declined to put it back on the ballot before voters last spring.
United Way of Santa Cruz County requested $5,000 for a 2-1-1 hotline, a number to dial for social services that soon will expand to Santa Cruz County.
Earlier this year, city leaders declined to commit to the funds because of tough economic times. But on Wednesday, June 23, they agreed on a 4-1 vote to give $1,200 to the service, which begins this summer. Vice Mayor Dene Bustichi dissented.
“There are some emergencies that cannot be categorized and people still need answers, and it can be difficult to navigate where to go,” Councilman Randy Johnson said. “I think it’s important that we have an alternate route for people to pursue. A 2-1-1 service really does fulfill a need in this community.”