Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Suisun expects year-end surplus

From Daily Republic // March 4
By Ian Thompson

SUISUN CITY – Suisun City is expected to climb out the its slough of red ink and into the black by June, according to a mid-year budget report that predicted the city will end the fiscal year with a surplus of almost $300,000.

That’s a big changem when the City Council first passed the budget – it included a deficit of $200,000.

The estimated $276,000 surplus is a conservative estimate, City Manager Suzanne Bragdon said. The council will discuss the positive report Tuesday.

Suisun City’s leaders have struggled for several years with a budget deficit despite a series of cuts to city workers and city services.

The city’s reserves are also expected to jump from $3.1 million to an estimated $3.7 million thanks to the recent sale of city property located on Twin Sisters.

Bragdon wants the council to consider several ideas for the upcoming 2006-07 budget, which include:

· Improving city income through new revenues and finding more way to cut costs.
· Streamlining how the city reviews and grants permits to encourage new commercial and residential developments.
· Retolling how much work city staff is expected to do, an issue employees raised after the city’s workforce was cut 15 percent during the past few years while workloads continued to rise.
· Changing city fees such as the development impact fees and those charges to residents using city services so the money better covers the cost of offering certain city services.
· Cracking down on business license enforcement because fewer than half the city’s businesses have licenses, the report said. Such a crackdown could bring in $200,000, Bragdon said.

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