This week, San Pablo balanced its 2012-2013 fiscal year operating budget, largely on the strength of increased revenue forecasts from casino gambling, additional Utility User Tax collection from water bills and layoffs of three maintenance workers.
The City Council's action Monday was to adopt midterm adjustments to a two-year operating budget for the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 fiscal years. The adjustments cancel out what had been projected as a budget deficit of $1.55 million next fiscal year caused largely by increases in the cost of delivering core services, according to a staff report.
The 2012-2013 general fund budget, including gas tax, grants and other accessory funds, is projected at about $24 million.
The adjustments include a $1 million upward revision of revenue from the San Pablo Lytton Casino to $13.5 million. That figure represents the city's 7.5 percent cut of gross gambling revenue in accordance with a 2003 Municipal Services Agreement.
The 2011-2012 budget's $14.25 million revenue projection from the casino consisted of $1.75 million in lieu of taxes and about $12.5 million from gross gambling revenue at the casino, which was estimated at more than $160 million.
Adding about $1.75 million in lieu of taxes to a $13.5 million cut of gross gambling revenue would bring the city's total income from the casino to $15.25 million next fiscal year.
The adjustments also include $270,000 annually of Utility
The adjustments also factor in the layoffs of three public works maintenance workers next month to save about $357,000 a year in future years; the net savings would be less in the coming fiscal year because of severance pay and benefits.
The announcement of the layoffs drew an objection from Lisa Davis, a business agent for Public Employees Union Local One, which represents the three workers, on the grounds that the city failed to confer with the union before deciding on layoffs.
Local One supervising business agent Scott Brown said Tuesday that the city and the union will meet Wednesday.
"They scheduled the meet-and-confer after the action was taken," Brown noted.
Moreover, he said, the taxpayer is ill-served by the layoffs because the city sponsored the three workers to get special certification in carpentry, electrical work and groundskeeping to bring work in-house instead of contracting it out.
The deficit-reduction adjustments approved Tuesday also include a one-time transfer of about $230,000 from the Budget Stabilization Fund.
Contact Tom Lochner at 510-262-2760.