Chico City Council hears about budget proposal, sales tax

The Chico City Council had a packed agenda for its meeting Tuesday night. One big item was the budget for the coming fiscal year.

Posted: Apr 17, 2019 12:25 AM
Updated: Apr 17, 2019 11:10 AM

CHICO, Calif. - The Chico City Council had a packed agenda for its meeting Tuesday night. 

The council discussed a variety of major topics. 

Public safety

But just before the discussion on the budget, protestors gathered Tuesday night before the meeting to let council members know they want public safety to be a priority.

"These are the faces of the people who are fed up," said Nichole Nava, Co-Founder of One Chico. "It's just not one sect. We care about everybody. I care about the unhoused here that are on the benches that are not safe. Maybe they're in a space where they don't even realize they're not safe. We need to help with that, but that means addressing things, really big things like violent crime first, opioids first, housing first, but in a meaningful way." 

"We're just trying to take things as they come," said Councilmember Scott Huber. "We had the Camp Fire to deal with. We had a number of situations with addressing people who had an immediate need as far as winter shelter and that sort of thing. I think now we can focus on crime and safety issues and I look forward to doing that." 

2019-2020 budget

The Chico City Council heard a draft of the proposed budget for 2019 to 2020.

The total projected revenue flow for the upcoming year is $54.5 million, compared to the $53.8 million budget last year. This is not the entire city's budget, this is the general fund and parks fund.

"The whole idea of the spreadsheet is to look at what cash we have for the general fund," said Scott Dowell, Administrative Services Director at the City of Chico. "We don't want to go into a deficit situation as we were 'X' years ago, had an $8 million deficit in the general fund. That's why we do this planning, so this bottom line, we want to keep it positive. Keep it positive as we go forward." 

The city council also heard a five-year projection of the emergency reserve. It showed a continued growth with the ending fund balance projected to be $5.1 million for 2019 to 2020. The estimated final balance from last year was $3.8 million.

The deadline to adopt the final budget is June 30.

Price gouging ordinance

The council approved a price gouging ordinance proposed by City Manager Mark Orme. 

The ordinance prohibits price gouging in Chico during and after an emergency. 

The ordinance will last as long as the Camp Fire disaster declaration is in place.

Housing Bill A-B 430

The council voted to not support Assemblyman James Gallagher's AB 430 bill, which is aimed at loosening some environmental regulations in order to speed up the building process for housing projects in Butte County. 

The council voted 4 to 3 against the bill. 

Silver Dollar BMX lease

The council voted to allow an extension of the lease for the Silver Dollar BMX track. 

This allows the lease end date to extend from April 30 to Oct. 31. 

Cannabis committee

Council members also finished making appointments to its new Cannabis Advisory Committee. 

The committee members are tasked with reviewing the pros and cons of bringing cannabis sales into the city.

Girl Scouts office and member services location

The city council made a resolution to allow the Girl Scouts of Northern California to use a site on 2511 Floral Avenue for its office and member services location. 

The proposal, which was approved by the council, allows the Girl Scouts of Northern California to utilize a 1.25-acre site as their primary office space for member services, and to allow an outdoor classroom area for weekly troop meetings and functions for up to 30 troop members, up to four days a week.

To view the agenda for the meeting, CLICK HERE

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