Loomis budget $294,000 in the red

Road work on the chopping block, other cuts possible
By: Joyia Emard, Loomis News Staff Writer
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Loomis is facing a $294,000 budget shortfall and road improvements may be on the chopping block. “We’re looking at everything right now,” Perry Beck, town manager, said when asked what else is being considered for budget cuts. Pam Wilson, of Loomis, thinks the town should defer road maintenance to cut costs, especially if the work doesn’t have to done immediately. “They should cut things that don’t affect public safety,” Wilson said. Loomis resident Rebecca Feickert also said public safety should not be cut. “They should cut back on the non-essential things – like the blue bags for recycling. A lot of people are keeping their recycling and getting the money themselves,” Feickert said. Town council will meet on Tuesday, June 29, to finalize the 2010-2011 fiscal budget. The new budget year begins July 1. The deficit began as $2 million for the coming fiscal year, but council and staff have been whittling away at the numbers. Beck said he does not believe council will be able to cut the full amount of the deficit, but will choose to make some cuts and use town reserves to fund the balance. Roger Carroll, town finance director, said Loomis has $4.5 million held in reserves, although half of the reserves are earmarked for road improvements. Beck said reserves could cover budget shortfalls for about five years. Last year, $320,000 from reserves was used to balance the budget, but Carroll said the town actually came in under budget and the full amount of budgeted reserves was not used. The town revenue sources include property and sales taxes, license and permit fees and payments from utility companies and refuse disposal. Carroll said the town has $11 million in investments. Those investments include $3 million in corporate bonds, $3 million in CDs and $5 million in federal agency bonds. “The investments I made last year earned about four percent,” Carroll said. Brian Fragiao, public works director, has slated a number of public works projects that may have to be deferred. He has also identified possible funding sources for some of the road improvements. Roadwork that may get deferred includes an asphalt overlay of King Road at a cost to the town of $109,000, and drainage improvements on Magnolia and Oak streets at a cost of $115,000. According to Beck, other roadwork will not be affected by the budget shortfall. Improvements on Sierra College Boulevard between Taylor Road and Granite Drive will be made jointly by Rocklin and Loomis and will continue as planned. That project will be paid from Bickford Ranch funds received as part of a lawsuit settlement. The Loomis Depot Park project will proceed as planned since $220,000 comes from a state grant and the town’s portion of $200,000 will come from town park funds. ------------------------------------- TOWN OF LOOMIS PROPOSED 2010-11 BUDGET Estimated revenue: $2.6 million Expenditures: $2.9 million Over-budget: $294,000 Reserves: $4.5 million – $2 million earmarked for road improvements, $600,000 for community facilities. Investments: $11 million – $3 million in corporate bonds, $3 million in CDs, $5 million in federal agency bonds. Earned about 4 percent last year. Expenses General government (includes council expenses, clerk, treasurer, legal services, administration): $766,000 Planning: $315,000 Safety Services (includes sheriffs, fire and animal control): $1.34 million Public works: $403,000 Non-departmental: $46,000 Source: Town of Loomis