By Mackenzie Carmen
lindsay – In a unanimous vote, the Lindsay City Council adopted their budget which includes Measure O dollars. The City was able to balance nearly all their finances with the exception of the McDermont Field House which still remains $114,500, in the red this year. However, the staff plans to return to the City Council in two months with a plan for balancing McDermont.
Some small improvements were announced for McDermont Field House budget. City Finance Director Bret Harmon announced an adjustment to the operational structure and sponsorship expectation for McDermont field house by a small amount.“We’ve been probably too conservative with the number of sponsorships we expect them to collect with the pace they are on,” said Harmon at the City Council meeting.
There were a few other minor changes to the budget, made after the June 20 special meeting. The first of the changes was to reorganize the general fund. The next change was to increase the sewer transfer to the capital improvement projects. At the June 20 meeting there was some concern this would not be balanced. There was also a correction to the library service project.
Harmon confirmed the capital improvement project met identified projected needs. The Measure O expenditures were presented at a public meeting two weeks after voters passed the district tax by a two-thirds margin. Finance Director Brett Harmon included the list as part of a slide show presentation at the June 20 meeting. Harmon projected that the City would collect about $600,000 in Measure O, a district tax. The tax will take effect on Oct. 1, 2017 and the City should begin receiving tax revenue by Jan. 1, 2018.
All of the estimated $600,000 in year one of Measure O is earmarked for public safety. Harmon said the tax measure saved several public safety department positions including two police sergeants ($75,000 each), an officer ($64,000) and three dispatchers ($45,000, $45,000 and $59,000). The revenue will also add two officer positions one ($64,000) in the coming months and another ($32,000) for half the year beginning in January. Another $13,000 will be spent on “public safety reorganization”, which was not explained, $70,000 for a new fire truck, $33,000 for other public safety equipment and $25,000 for a part-time accountant.
Another item was tackled at the City council meeting: extending the contract for Lindsay Unified School District’s School Resource officer (SRO). The board approved extending the SRO contract for the 2017-2018 year. For the duration of the school year, the officer will be on Lindsay Unified campuses. Once school is out, the officer will report to Public Safety and work for them during the remainder of the year.
Last year, the SRO was paid five percent less than this year’s SRO will be paid. The City expects not to exceed the maximum reimbursement of $83,804 for this position. The school district will also reimburse the City for the time the officer works for their district.