Susanville Budget No Longer Faces 1.2M Budget Deficit

The City of Susanville will get to adopt a balanced budget this coming fiscal year. The city faced a 1.2 million dollar deficit at this same time last year, yet the tides have changed as two positive things happened from a financial standpoint. City Administrator Dan Newton explained to the City council what those two things were at their regular council meeting this week as being the CalPERS retirement refinancing and passage of Measure P in the Primary Election. The CalPERS retirement refinancing will reduce spending and the city will see a savings of 280,000 dollars a year, coupled with the passage of the 1% sales tax increase, measure P, that would increase revenue by an estimated 1.75 million dollars. With the increase in money coming into the city as well as the expense savings, the city council was advised that within the expenditure reduction plan it was in the budget to have cut several city positions and that no longer needs to be an option if the council approves. Those positions included the city code enforcement officer, animal control officer, and community services officer. The council unanimously agreed to include those positions back into the budget along with one other. A police officer position was also frozen in efforts to reduce spending and the council also agreed to bring that back with Mayor Mendy Schuster saying she feels all positions within the Police Department should be filled at all times. Though all seems to be a positive move forward some in the audience echoed a word of caution to the council to not undo all the progress they have made over the past year and to remain responsible for the new incoming revenue to the city. A special meeting has been called for Wednesday, June 29th at 5 pm to adopt the new budget, unfreeze the police officer position, as well as to seat the newly elected council members as election results are expected to be finalized.