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City on solid financial ground at mid-year budget review
Turlock hiring police
City of Turlock General Fund expenses came in $5.3 million under budget, due largely to personnel vacancies totaling $4.5 million. Of that, Public Safety vacancies accounted for $2.5 million (Photo courtesy of TPD).

The City of Turlock finds itself in the uncommon position of having too much money in its General Fund Reserve account. At least that was the opinion of Turlock Finance Director Isaac Moreno during the Mid-Year Budget review he presented to the Turlock City Council earlier this month.

The City of Turlock’s General Fund Reserve balance went from over $9.85 million in 2018 to $19.19 million in 2022.

“We do have a healthy reserve overall, very substantial in fact. It’s actually not where I’d like it to be. I think it’s a lot higher than it should be, which tells me we need to put our money back where we need to put it which is in our obligations,” he said.

Not only does the City have a healthy General Fund Reserve, but at mid-year, the City has a $960,398 net gain in its General Fund.

“What that’s stemming from is some salary savings as well as some revenue streams that are coming in on point,” said Moreno.

General Fund expenses came in $5.3 million under budget, due largely to personnel vacancies totaling $4.5 million.  Of that, Public Safety vacancies accounted for $2.5 million.

While the City has a 1% shortfall of expected sales tax revenue, property tax apportionment has a gain of $1 million from the prior fiscal year. The City of Turlock is also benefitting from $6.6 million in unspent American Rescue Plan Act funding, $1.99 million in Measure A funds and $429,000 in cannabis revenue.

The Council also approved a number of Mid-Year Budget General Fund augmentation requests including:

—                  $30,000 for a part-time employee to provide additional background investigations due to Police Department reorganization.

—                  $50,000 for overtime pay for Downtown police patrols.

—                  $87,900 for emergency HVAC repairs at the Public Safety Facility.

—                  $10,000 for unforeseen maintenance of public tennis courts.

—                  $30,000 to control gophers that are causing problems in parks.

—                  $50,000 for salaries and equipment to start a Police Reserve program.

In Measure A funds, the Council approved the following Mid-Year Budget augmentation requests:

—                  $30,000 for 15 rifle grade plate carriers for protection.

—                  $75,000 for vehicle replacer K9 unit to use with donated K9.

—                  $150,000 for a vehicle replacer rescue vehicle.