The Clovis City Council on Monday approved a $179.4 million budget that will put more cops on the street, more money into parks and senior services, and more cash in the bank for a rainy day.
Clovis City Manager Robert Woolley said the budget will restore some of what the city lost during the recession, when it had to trim staff and services.
Council members passed the budget unanimously after listening to an hour and a half of presentations from city staff and asking a few questions. Mayor Lynne Ashbeck could not make the meeting in person, but participated by phone.
The budget adds nine new positions, including two police officers and an information technology analyst in the Police Department, and a recreational leader in the parks department.
The information technology analyst will be in charge of a new computer-aided dispatch system, Woolley said. This new system means officers will spend less time on paperwork and about 20% more time patrolling.
This will make officers more efficient, said police Capt. Vince Leonardo.
"Ultimately we'd like to run a paperless system," Leonardo said. "I don't know if we could ever go totally paperless, but this will get us pretty close."
The recreational leader position is part of building more quality-of-life programs, Woolley said.
This is the first time in about five years the council will be able to put money into parks, recreation and senior services, he said.
"Those departments took some of the biggest cuts during the recession," Woolley said.
In addition, the city will put $2.3 million into a trailhead at Shepherd and Sunnyside avenues and $500,000 for acquiring land in the Loma Vista area for a park.
Next year's budget will allow the Fire Department to replace a fire truck and police to replace 20 patrol vehicles.
One of the City Council's priorities is adding to its emergency reserve. The $53.4 million general fund budget includes setting aside $6.7 million — about 12.7% — in the emergency reserve, Woolley said.
The reserve shrank to 6% when the recession hit.
"We're climbing out of the recession slowly, but there will be another one," Woolley said. "History will repeat itself."
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