Jun 17, 2015 11:47 AM by News Staff, File Photo
Chico, CA -- The Chico City Council has narrowly approved a 2015 budget that puts a focus on public safety, while continuing to pay down debt.
In a 4-3 vote, with council members Stone, Schwab and Ritter voting against, the council adopted the $109.7 million dollar budget for 2015-2016.
The budget funds 12 new positions, the majority for the Chico Police Department, as a key focus of this year's budget is public safety. The department will add two new sergeants, three new officers, a community service officer and a records clerk. With the increased staff, the department hopes to tackle what they've call "quality of life" issues in Chico.
Chico Police Chief Mike O'Brien told Action News Now the two sergeants will allow the department to introduce a problem oriented policing team to the community, a unit he says is desperately needed.
The other added positions are within the city, including a community development analyst and making a part-time park ranger, full-time.
In addition, the city looks to continue paying down debts. In the past two years the city's deficit has been reduced from $15 million to $4.5 million. The city allocated $900,000 towards the deficit for the 2015-16 fiscal year, they hope to balance the budget by 2019.
City Manager Mark Orme says the city is seeing slight increases in revenue, allowing for a slightly larger budget, but overall the city is taking a conservative approach to rebuild a "financial fiasco."
The general fund for 2015 is around $46 million, a slight increase over last year, the entire budget approved is $109.7 million.
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