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Council to continue budget talks, consider new General Fund Reserves policy
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The Turlock City Council is expected to continue discussions on the 2023-24 General Fund Budget at their Tuesday meeting.

The Council began reviewing the City’s budget at their April 25 meeting. From that meeting, the Council requested the following items:

·         Create a full-time position identified as Communications Assistant to improve and assist with social media development, posts and platforms. This position will provide service to all City departments and salary costs will be shared.

·         Remove a full-time Management Analyst position and create a part-time Grant Writer position. This individual will serve as a liaison between the City Manager’s office and other City departments, providing professional level support to the City’s grant program and unsheltered homeless services programs. This position will be in charge of applying for a variety of federal, state and local grants, as well as monitoring and reporting grant activity.

·         The Police Department would like to unfreeze one of the three previously frozen Police Officer positions and backfill that position temporality with four Police Cadets.  These Cadets will help provide support to the Police Department staff and community while attending college and eventually striving to become Turlock Police Officers. The department currently has two former Police Cadets in the Field Training Program finishing their training to become solo Police Officers for the City of Turlock.  This budget impact is estimated at $118,382 to the General Fund.

·         Columbia Pool is currently estimated to cost $7.3 million.  Prior Council actions have appropriated $5.7 million leaving a shortfall of $2.3 million.  With the estimated Fiscal Year 2023-2024 gain in the Cannabis fund, staff proposes allocating this projected gain of $1,030,381 to the project. 

·         Reclassify three building staff members as the employees in these positions are ready to take on more technical and advanced duties to address the needs of the department.  This will assist with employee retention in the Division.  The budget impact is projected at $13,869 to the Building Fund.

The 2023-24 Budget expected revenues and expenditures are as follows:

—                  General Fund                     $52,055,766 (Revenue) $52,055,766 (Expenses)

—                  Measure A Roads             $7,456,285 (Revenue)   $15,647,000 (Expenses)

—                  Measure A General          $7,456,285 (Revenue)   $7,375,441 (Expenses)

—                  Cannabis                              $1,333,000 (Revenue)   $1,360,381 (Expenses)

—                  American Rescue Plan    $0 (Revenue)                     $2,540,386 (Expenses)

Adoption of the budget for all funds is projected to occur at the June 13 regular Council meeting.

On Tuesday, the City Council is also expected to:

—                  Consider adopting a new General Fund Reserves Policy. The proposed new General Fund Reserves Policy would establish specific requirements: 

o   Required level of the reserve balance and formula for calculating the reserve balance; Funding and replenishment of the reserve (15% Working Capital Reserve, 5% Emergency Contingency Reserve for a 20% Total Reserve);

o   Conditions for use of the reserve and accepted uses of the reserves (Emergencies that are nonrecurring expenditures, required to maintain essential services in severe, long-term fiscal crisis — more than three years — when revenues are insufficient, and unexpected major capital investment requirement);

o   Authority over the reserves (The Finance Department for the City of Turlock shall have the responsibility to maintain the General Fund Reserves at the level determined by City Council); and

o   Disposition of surplus of the reserve (Since a surplus does not represent a recurring source of revenue, it shall not be used to fund a recurring expense; however, the surplus may be appropriated for use to fund onetime expenditures or uses not already funded through an appropriation. If it is determined there is an operating surplus: the City Council may appropriate funds for the elimination of unfunded liabilities related to the City’s pension obligations, for the reduction or avoidance of debt or for capital improvements and purchases).

—                  Consider approving the 2023-24 Annual Action Plan for the Community Development Block Grant Program and HOME Investment Partnership Program. The CDBG funding allocation for the fiscal year 2023-2024 will be $613,116, additionally when the plan was put out for public comments staff estimated program income of $130,000 and a carryover of $705,700 for a total of $1,448,816 in CDBG funds for FY 2023-2024.

The Turlock City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Yosemite Room at City Hall, 156 S. Broadway. The meetings are open to the public. A full agenda packet can be found at