Proposed Clovis budget allows new hires, raises
Clovis City Council members got their first glimpse of the city’s $170.1 million proposed budget for next year, which includes hiring five new employees and a small raise for all city workers.
“This is the first year since the recession began that the budget is proposing increased staffing,” City Manager Robert Woolley said.
It’s also the first time in five years the city is proposing to raise employees’ pay. Woolley said the increase will be small, but city negotiators still have to consult with all the employees’ bargaining units.
The council will hold public hearings June 4 and 18 before adopting the spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
City employees took pay cuts of up to 5.74% in the past five years. Last year, they received no raises.
Part of the reason for the raises is because sales-tax revenue is growing between 5% and 7% due to improving auto sales and more revenue from higher gasoline prices.
The budget proposes to add about $500,000 to the city’s general-fund reserve. That will bring the city’s reserve to about $6.54 million or about 11.6% of the city’s $56.4 million general fund, which pays for services such as police, fire and some parks.
The city will add five positions — four in code enforcement and one electrician for traffic signal maintenance. But the city also will carve eight positions out of the budget — mostly in park maintenance — that have been left vacant in recent years.
The city also plans to increase some utility rates.
Sewer rates will rise a little more than $1 per month and water rates will rise 5%. The city is on water meters so customers pay based on how much they use.
The city’s recycling and green waste rates will rise 4%, about 18 cents per month, but a 4% trash rate increase previously planned will not be needed, city officials said.
By Marc Benjamin