City Council Approves $300 Million Budget for 2021-22

(CR Photo)

The Clovis City Council approved the 2021-22 budget introduction plan, totaling $295 million, at its May 17 meeting.

City Manager Luke Serpa said that a significant portion of the budget is divided into six categories.

The budget would contribute $247 million to operations, $48 million to capital improvements, $70 million to the internal services fund, $5 million to the special revenue fund, and $86 million to both the general and enterprise funds, respectively.

Serpa characterized the upcoming budget as a recovery budget as the effects of the pandemic begin to dwindle.

“So, the last year has been anything but normal,” Serpa said. “A year ago at this time, we made some significant changes to our budget based on anticipated impacts of the pandemic.”

Serpa said that the City’s revenues decreased less than anticipated and softened the pandemic’s blow.

Assistance from stimulus funds helped make up for lost revenue, and significant expenditure reductions resulted in a large fund balance.

The proposed budget would restore cuts and freezes that the City of Clovis was forced to make due to the pandemic.

ARP funds can also be used to help the restoration of cut and frozen positions.

With $48 million going toward capital improvements, it allows the City to fund the continued construction of Fire Station Six, temporary housing at the fire training facility and Landmark Square.

The City has also set aside replacement funds for Fire Station 2, operating funds, and debt service for the upcoming senior activity center at Landmark Square.

Debt service will be funds that are used to repay the interest and principal on the senior activity center.

Both Fire Station 2 and Loma Vista Village Green Park are currently in the design phase and will be receiving funds from capital improvements.

General funds will go toward adding and restoring frozen jobs at both the Clovis Police Department (CPD) and Clovis Fire Department (CFD).

CPD will bring back six officers, while the CFD will bring back three firefighters and add six new firefighters to Fire Station 6.

Additional funds will be available for public safety vehicles, CPD technology upgrades, a new finance and utility billing system, 24 City positions and economic development.

The budget didn’t include the ARP funds because the City was unaware of how they could use those funds during the budget’s creation.

Serpa said that the City received guidance last week on how it can spend the funds, and it may incorporate the ARP funds into a future budget amendment.

Under this budget, the City would maintain its emergency reserves at 15%, or $13.1 million, and the $732,000 in its unreserved general fund balance.

Although revenues decreased last year, and the City projected that it might have needed to withdraw from the emergency reserves, it avoided having to tap into emergency funds.

Avoiding dipping into the emergency funds will be significant for the City going forward.

Serpa said that there are still concerns that a secondary economic slowdown could happen due to supply-side disruptions.

Departmental presentations and the budget adoption are set for June 14.

Anthony De Leon
Anthony De Leon is a journalist who started his career in 2017, covering sports for the Fresno City College Rampage, earning his Associate Degree in the process. He then moved on to Fresno State, working for The Collegian serving as Sports Editor, Managing Editor and Editor-in-Chief. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in print journalism. In August, he will begin attending Reynold’s School of Journalism Master’s program at the University of Nevada, Reno.