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Local News

Goleta Council Keeps Talks Going on Budget Shortfall

The city has projected about a $1 million deficit by the end of the next two-year cycle

The Goleta City Council will take up the city budget again Tuesday as it continues its series of discussions to flesh out the city’s finances for the next two years.

The local and national economies, with drops in sales taxes and the transient occupancy tax, have taken a toll on city finances in addition to the budget shortfall the city already had predicted because of its revenue neutrality agreement with the county. As a result, the city last week projected about a $1 million shortfall by the end of the upcoming budget cycle.

Complicating the issue is the city’s goal of moving into a new City Hall, a $14 million financial outlay.

City Manager Dan Singer said the projected shortfall has been reduced significantly by proposals addressing both additional revenue and cuts to personnel.

The council will contemplate a business license ordinance that Singer said could bring in an estimated $230,000. A proposed paring of the city’s police force by two sheriff’s deputies would result in a savings of about $300,000, and possible cuts to city staff (two positions) as well as a mandatory work furlough would save about $200,000 in the next couple of years, he said. Meanwhile, other one-time cuts also would help to balance the budget.

“So basically we’re pretty much balanced for this next year, and for the next year we’re off by roughly $100,000,” Singer said.

As the City Council wraps up its budget discussions for the upcoming two-year cycle, left to talk about will be the matter of smaller expenditures and requests from outside agencies: the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Girsh Park Foundation, the Boys & Girls Club and the Goleta Valley Historical Society, to name a few.

“The discussions have been progressive,” Singer said. “So I don’t expect we’ll be going backwards, but that said, anything is still on the table.”

Noozhawk staff writer Sonia Fernandez can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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