reveals $218 million budget plan
May 18, 2017
of Merced leaders and financial staff members unveiled a
preliminary budget of $218.4 million for the Fiscal Year
that begins July 1. The budget was presented to the City
Council during a workshop Monday.
"We heard you Merced," declared City Manager Steve
Carrigan who pointed out that the budget was based on public
comments from three Town Hall meetings, a budget priority
session, and internal staff needs.
Said Mayor Mike Murphy, “Residents see that our city
is heading in the right direction and this budget helps
move us there. Our budget includes more for police and fire,
more for our parks, more for our youth and more for improving
our city services.”
Among the highlights:
• More than two dozen positions were added to the
budget, with the majority in the Public Works Department
to improve service and address community needs.
• The budget includes $60,000 for a Quiet Zone Study
to address the noise complaints caused by train horns. It
also has $50,000 set aside to tackle problems with blighted
• The budget contains an additional two police officers
and a police lieutenant, a fire marshal, and more training
• There is a position for a Director of Parks and
Recreation to guide the Parks and Recreation Department.
Youth programming also gets a boost with $20,000 for the
Boys and Girls Club funding for a Saturday program and $8,500
for a Summer Arts Program through the Multicultural Arts
• The budget contains $20,000 in funds to get the
Sports Complex, Joe Herb and other park ball fields in better
• For public safety downtown, "more uniforms"
will be visible by moving the offices of Code Enforcement,
Fire Marshal, Fire Inspector to the Bell Station, the site
of the Downtown Post Office. The increased city presence
in the heart of downtown is expected to help with nuisance
abatement on all levels.
• The city added $997,500 to the Revenue Stabilization
Fund, the so-called “rainy day fund,” that can
be used to help out during tough economic times. The addition
boosts the fund up to $2.9 million.
• The Economic Opportunity Fund has $427,500 added
to it. The fund to attract and retain businesses, will now
have $2.2 million in it.
• There is funding to send staff out to collect trash
that is dumped in alleys and streets on a regular basis.
It also creates a satellite collection site for residents
to bring their trash to Yosemite Avenue and Highway 59 in
the hopes that it will alleviate dumping in the city.
• Public works is growing and it has the largest investment
of personnel, mostly in the sewer and water divisions. The
city will be hiring a public works lead in sewer, a mechanic
in Fleet, a finance liaison, a custodian, two storm drain
workers, two sewer collection system workers, a fabrication
technician, a cross connection control specialist and two
more refuse equipment trainees for the regular refuse routes.
There also are two tree trimmers in the budget.
• The city’s computer system is a legacy from
the Eighties. There is $350,000 for Phase I of the Enterprise
Resource Planning System to update the AS 400 and its software
and to determine the best replacement system.
• The budget added a Legislative Director to advocate
on the city’s behalf, pursue grants, monitor bills
and help develop policies and legislations for the city.
The budget also contains $20,000 for a firm to assist in
state and federal advocacy.
The proposed budget will formally be introduced to the council
at its June 5 meeting. It is scheduled for adoption June