The Pleasanton City Council approved a record-high $105-million budget for fiscal 2016/17 Tuesday that includes a 46% increase in estimated capital improvement expenditures over a year ago.
While the General Fund operating budget remains balanced at $105.4-million, it includes a reserve of $20.1 million. Additional operating surpluses of $2.2-million will go into the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and also to be used for pre-funding pension liabilities and funds needed to repair and replacement.
The new fiscal year budget is based on city staff's estimated of current financial conditions for the second year of the two-year budget cycle.
"Being fiscally prudent means tracking anticipated revenues and expenditures such that we can be confident the city's operating expenses are covered by operating revenues," said Tina Olson, Pleasanton's finance director. "Going through this mid-term review allows us to update our spending plan with those priorities in mind but, more importantly, it allows us to communicate that to the city's policy makers and taxpayers."
City Manager Nelson Fialho agreed.
"Once again, we are very pleased to have these new revenues that are the result of a robust economy," he said. "Over the course of five years, we have been able to increase the amount the city pension liabilities are funded to 72.3%, up by 22% from 2009 when only 50.8% of (those) liabilities were funded."
The FY 2016/17 budget estimates total capital improvement expenditures at $28.8 million, an increase of $8.9 million over a year ago, or a 46% increase. Projects in the upcoming fiscal year that starts July 1 include 14 already budgeted but being revised upward and 12 new projects.
These include $3.3 million for acquiring and installing advanced wireless meters for homes and businesses starting in August, $1.3 million to install recycled water pipes when Valley Avenue is resurfaced, plus another $600,000 for repaving, and $700,000 to fund various studies and plans that will help guide future capital improvement project planning.
Another $752,000 is being allocated to increase funding for repair and replacement projects, $200,000 for needed maintenance management software, $350,000 for additional contingency for the Bernal Park project, and $100,000 to build a path for emergency and maintenance vehicles in Kottinger Park.
Also included in the new capital improvement expenditures are $300,000 for a trash capture device required for the city's storm drain program, $85,000 for bocce ball courts, $120,000 to convert tennis court lights to LED, and $33,000 in matching funds to federal grants to repair and upgrade city bridges.
In addition, $1 million is being allocated to the CIP reserve.