By Brittany Hanson/Garden Grove Journal
Stanton is feeling the weight of the state’s budget problems this year very sharply. The biennial proposed budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year was presented to the city council at Tuesday’s meeting and approved, with a steep break between available funds and money to pay with.
According to City Manager Carol Jacobs, the cities of California have been robbed by the state and Stanton would be much better if, “they [the state] just left us alone.”
City revenues for 2010-11 are at $18,122,760 with a budget deficit of $2,933,777.
The redevelopment agency will also be paying back the general fund account for the city about $400,000 that was given as a loan.
The general fund revenue total for 2010-2011 is $13,781,149 and the expense total is $16,714,926.
Nearly every item listed in the new adopted budget does not have an adequate level of revenue to cover their expenditures.
The money was loaned from the general to the redevelopment agency when the state came in to take money from RDA’s in each city to offset state budget shortfalls.
Terri Marsh, city treasurer, said in a presentation earlier that day that recession, which first started to impact the city in 2008, would have a lasting effect on the state of local finding.
Although the balance between revenues and expenditures is drastically in favor of expenditures rising, Stanton is still working on finding ways to keep moving forward and weather the financial difficulties.
During the last three fiscal years, cities across California have been faced with a lagging economy and severe budget shortfalls.
In Stanton every city department has made cuts, reduced staff positions and frozen pay.
Even police services from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, which combined with fire services from the Orange County Fire Authority, receives the largest sum of yearly budget, has whittled down positions.
The 2010 fiscal year is projected to possibly be one of the least productive in terms of righting the budget gap.
Marsh said that a lack of consumer confidence and therefore a decrease in spending was in part to blame as well as the state woes for budget shortfalls.
The city will be borrowing from its reserve to help offset the problems with the budget.
Stanton, as are many other cities and government impacted organizations, has been freezing and eliminating job positions as well as cutting back on pay for employees in an effort to free up more money.