Clovis News

Clovis City Council OKs $186m budget

The Clovis City Council adopted a $186 million budget Monday night that increases the city's cash reserves in 2011-12 to near 10%, repairs roads and builds two new parks.

The city expects to collect nearly its previous peak in sales tax revenues and higher property tax revenues. It will spend about $16 million on road repairs, including work on Clovis Avenue in downtown, a new pet-adoption center, and two new parks at Barstow and DeWolf avenues and Temperance and Sierra avenues.

Sales tax revenues in 2011-12 should come close to the city's previous peak in 2007-08, finance director Jamie Hughson said.

"It's taken us four years to get back to where we were," she said.

The city's general fund, which pays for public safety, senior and recreation programs, and some road projects, totals $53.8 million.

Hughson said she wants the city to have a 15% general fund budget reserve in the coming years, or about $8 million.

City officials began planning for difficult financial times in 2008. Over the past three years, the city had to lay off part-time workers and some full-time employees to balance budgets. The new city budget is balanced and no layoffs are planned.

For three years, employees have given wage concessions as high as 5.74% of salary and benefits. City employees are not being asked to take wage concessions, but the city is not proposing any across-the-board raises.

Residents will pay 4% more for trash pickup, 15% more for water and 14% more for sewer services. The water- and sewer-rate hikes are needed to help cover the costs of new water- and sewage-treatment plants.

The new budget year begins on July 1.