Last month I wrote about the City’s financial plan and the basic components or objectives contained in that plan. Now, I would like to explain some of the steps that have been taken to place the City on a more solid financial foundation over the past two years:
Accelerated debt retirement of Boulder Creek Golf Course bonds: Staying true to this plan will retire all of the debt at Boulder Creek Golf Course by 2017, eight years ahead of schedule.
Adequate funding of fleet, equipment and facilities: During the economic downturn, funds for vehicles, equipment, and facility maintenance was practically eliminated. Some of the new solar lease revenue is being utilized for these items.
During the past two years, approximately $1.5 million was utilized for vehicles, equipment and facility maintenance. The City has updated its 5 year capital plan and there are still many capital needs that must be addressed in future years.
The City has re-evaluated the existing utility rate structure: The City has done a formal rate study. The initial results of the rate study indicated that a rate increase would be needed. However, through careful scheduling of capital projects and through the utilization of reserves and Capital Improvement Fund for debt service, we were able to avoid any rate increases at this time.
Stabilize property taxes: The City enjoys one of the lowest property tax rates in the state, and no increases in property taxes have been approved in the past two budget cycles.
Utilize Capital Improvement Fund balance to support future voter-approved projects: Voters have authorized the use of the Capital Improvement Fund for debt service connected with the third Intake project. The City has allocated $1.8 million of funds for accelerated debt service payments with this project. If we stay true to this plan, the third Intake debt can be paid off by 2017.
The City is not where it wants to be financially, yet. However, we have held costs and we have been very successful with our lease revenues from the energy zone.
Staying true to the City’s financial plan is key to achieving long-term financial sustainability.
Visit Roger at http://www.bcnv.org/CityCouncil/Tobler.asp.