The Sacramento City Council on Tuesday gave final approval to a $961.1 million budget for the coming fiscal year that includes additional funds for wastewater infrastructure, homeless services and the city’s economic uncertainty reserve.
The budget passed on a unanimous vote, with council members and the mayor lauding a new budget process that involved greater transparency and public input.
“This is a good budget, and it was an excellent process,” Councilman Rick Jennings said before the vote.
The final plan added an additional $14 million in spending from the original proposal. That includes a $4.2 million deposit into the city’s rainy-day fund. Other spending additions will fund 15 new police officers and $1 million to increase diversity efforts for the Police Department, as well as $4.5 million for two fire stations, one in the River District and the other in South Natomas.
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The revision also brought $1.5 million for increased homeless services that will allow the Volunteers of America shelter and the Salvation Army Shelter to both remain open around the clock, and fund an additional 20 beds for homeless women.
Infrastructure needs also earned more funds, with the water meter installation program receiving an additional $5 million for a total of $8 million and an additional $5.2 million for sewer improvements for a total of $9.2 million.
Some of the revenue and expenditure changes were prompted by utility rate increases passed by the council in March. Those changes added revenue of nearly $12 million to city coffers.
Council members largely voiced support for the budget, with Councilman Larry Carr saying it signaled a “change for our city” and Councilwoman Angelique Ashby adding that, “we do seem to be focused on the communities that we all agree have been left behind.”
One of the few points of contention came when Ashby questioned a one-year transfer of one-third of revenue from the city’s digital billboards to specific council districts for capital investments. That will send $120,000 to District 2 in Del Paso Heights, $60,000 to District 8 in Meadowview and $60,000 to District 4 in the central city.
Ashby said she would not support sending those funds to District 4 in coming years, arguing that the area did not have the same needs as the other two areas. District 4 Councilman Steve Hansen disputed that.