By Brittany Hanson/Garden Grove Journal
Terri Marsh, Stanton’s director of administrative services, is tired of having bad news. Her most recent piece of news is a more accurate look at the current and coming deficit; the projected deficit of 2012 is $2.9 million and $3.5 million in 2013.
According to Marsh, ever since she took her position in the city, she hasn’t been able to come bearing good tidings about fiscal situations.
Now, deep in what is being called, “The Great Recession,” Marsh has to help the city of Stanton look towards what is going be a grim financial future.
At a recent city council meeting, Marsh gave a presentation detailing the economic situation and the fiscal realities for the city.
The city itself is responsible for the infrastructure and maintenance of the city, maintaining compliance with building and planning codes and state and federal regulations. Aside from this, the city provides recreation for the residents, with all the money for this coming out of the depleted general fund.
“Our original ideas that revenues would rebound quickly are not coming true,” said Marsh, “It could easily be 7 to 10 years until revenue levels go back to what they were in 2007.”
A handout released at the meeting said that, “The three primary revenues supporting the General Fund are sales tax, property tax and motor vehicle tax. Sales revenues will be lower in 2012 than revenues produced nine years ago in 2002 and have fallen $1.2 million, 30 percent, since 2006-2007. Property tax revenues for 2012 will be lower than property tax revenues produced seven years ago in 2004. Motor vehicle license fees have decreased 9.4 percent since 2007.”
In addition to this, the general cost of services for the city are rising, specifically the cost of public safety services, which comprise 75 percent of the general fund budget. These services are required for the city to function and are not optional.
However, the Orange County Fire Authority and the Orange County Sherriff’s Department have been working with the city try and find ways to reduce costs.
The contract costs since 2006 have risen by 20 percent for the OCSD and 25 percent for the OCFA.