With the 2015-2016 fiscal year set to take begin in a few weeks, Oakdale City Manager Bryan Whitemyer presented the preliminary city budget for approval at the Monday, June 15 Oakdale City Council meeting.
In his presentation, Whitemyer began stating that the city was able to avoid cuts to police and fire services and has provided funding for the Senior Center, Community Center, street lighting, and street sweeping thanks to the additional funds expected to be brought in by Measure Y, the half-cent sales tax measure passed last November that extended the former Measure O.
“This additional sales tax generates approximately $1.6 million in annual revenue,” Whitemyer said. “Unlike other tax revenues, this revenue does not go to the state; 100 percent of the revenue stays in Oakdale to pay for local services.”
Whitemyer said the city must “wean itself” off those finds when the initiative expires in March 2020.
“To do this the City of Oakdale must bring additional commercial developments into the city so that the residents of Oakdale can purchase more goods and services in Oakdale as opposed to Modesto or Riverbank,” Whitemyer said. “Currently, Oakdale residents spend millions of dollars outside of Oakdale simply because Oakdale lacks the stores where residents typically shop.”
For future viability, Whitemyer said Oakdale is in the process of annexing land along the north side of Highway 108 between Crane Road and Reed Road that includes land designated for commercial purposes.
“The development of additional commercial land is critical to the future financial viability of the city,” Whitemyer said.
He described the presented operating budget as “a complex document” that manages the revenues and expenditures of many separate fund accounts.
Whitemyer said the city is planning to take in $29,162,354 and estimated expenditures for the coming year in the amount of $28,915,437.
The General Fund, the discretionary operating budget for the city, has revenues projected to be $11,023,208 with costs of $10,651,592.
The proposed budget saw $30,000 set aside for a demographic study on the city’s voting patterns.
“This is something we must do under the California Voters Rights Act,” Whitemyer explained. “This sets us up in case we need to go to district elections.”
The police dispatch budget increased by $88,363 as a result of the first full year of Oakdale providing dispatch services to the City of Newman, with Newman paying for the service, and the police administration budget increased with moving a sergeant position to handle more detective assignments.
This is also the first full year of funding for two new police officers approved last fiscal year plus the proposed addition of a School Resource Officer in the future.
Other additions to the budget include $32,935 to fund a management analyst position for human resources and $200,000 set aside for apparatus replacement for the fire department.
Whitemyer said these increases were made possible due to the passage of Measure Y in November 2014.
The council passed the preliminary budget unanimously. The new fiscal year starts on July 1.