CITY OF RENO NEWS RELEASE
After holding three budget workshops and a public hearing, and listening to public comment, the Reno City Council has adopted a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2013-2014 which includes no employee lay-offs.
The budget for all funds is $348 million, with the general fund at $164 million, not including fund balance.
The adopted budget focuses on maintaining core city services, financial responsibility, and transparency. The budget continues supporting necessary infrastructure projects, senior services, arts and special events that enhance the quality of life for the community, and public safety.
One key measure that Council made sure was a top priority was enhancing the current graffiti abatement program. Council directed additional staffing to help with a plan to abate graffiti vandalism within 48 hours of it being reported and to streamline graffiti vandalism reporting. The addition will increase graffiti abatement staffing from one employee to three.
While consolidated tax collection levels (primarily sales taxes) are improving, the city’s budget remains lean with reserve funds at a minimum level. To achieve a balanced budget the city has better aligned reserves in the health and risk funds, implemented a hiring freeze, further reduced services/supplies and implemented a freeze on general fund fleet purchases for one year.
These measures hold the line with expenditures and are anticipated to be only one-time budget balancing measures. The adopted budget assumes contract concessions that have been made with some of the city’s employee bargaining units will expire and not be extended. If extensions on contract concessions are made, the city will be able to restore reserve levels, services/supplies, fleet purchases, and other necessities.
Departments will continue to hold the line on expenditures, utilize overtime only when absolutely necessary and identify savings. The city still faces the challenges of replenishing reserves, a slow revenue recovery, increasing employee costs, aging infrastructure along with deferred maintenance and unfunded liabilities.
Departments will continue to look for innovative solutions and service provisions to support local businesses, support economic development, and improve customer service while helping the City rebuild reserves and long-term economic sustainability. The city of Reno is a smaller organization with the lowest staff per capita in more than 10 years, at 4.8 staff per 1,000 residents.