Council to consider $40 million budget

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The Avalon City Council is expected to consider a general fund budget approaching $40 million at its first meeting in August, having held a four-hour special meeting to explore budget details. Interim Finance Director Robert Torrez and Senior Accountant Matt Baker presented the budget and answered questions. The city’s general fund, which includes a number of so-called “dedicated funds,” is anticipating revenue in 2018-19 of $38.9 million and expenditures of $41.5 million, including major spending on some long-anticipated capital projects.

“The city is looking at a balanced budget,” said Torrez, including an overall reserve fund of approximately $4 million. Few cities similar to Avalon have nearly 20 percent in reserves, he said. Baker said even though the expenditures seem to outweigh the revenue, there are grant funds and other reserve allocations baked into the equation to balance the budget. Torrez said while the revenues were generally considered “flat,” that was, in effect, “good news” for the city. Torrez and Baker say the fiscal year budget is a “dynamic document,” meaning events during the year and actual revenue and expenditures sometimes require adjustments in their overall projections. Worst case scenarios, however, indicate the city may have to draw down $400,000 of its reserve over the course of the year, which would still leave the city with a $3.5 million reserve fund.

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