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Calexico general fund ‘healthy'

February 16, 2002|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — City Finance Director Veronica Alvarado said, "The general fund is healthy — right now."

The City Council draws from the general fund to pay firefighters and police officers.

Alvarado was asked if the new City Council, sworn in after the March 5 election, will have funds to work with as it tries to fulfill campaign promises.

Will the council be able to raise salaries for the police officers, buy new equipment for the Fire Department and provide more recreational activities for Calexico's youth? All of the above have been promised by candidates on the doorsteps or in the living rooms of this city's homes.

Alvarado said the continued health of this city's general fund cannot be determined until this year's projected revenues are met. It all depends on collection of fees and the continued health of the city's sales tax revenues.


For the most recent reported period, July through December, the city took in $950,000 in sales tax revenue.

That figure represents a 7.56 percent increase compared to the prior year and 5.4 percent less than projected.

While the more than 7 percent bump is positive, Mayor Pro Tem John Renison is concerned about the drop in projected revenue.

"(The 7 percent jump) is better than I thought but not as good as I'd like," he said Thursday.

Renison plans to meet with Alvarado and City Manager Richard Inman to make sure the city's finances are solid.

One point of contention Renison brought up at Tuesday's City Council meeting is an outstanding Redevelopment Agency loan.

Councilman Gilbert Grijalva told Renison that the loan — a loan to the Calexico Community Action Council — is structured so the CCAC makes payments if and when it takes in money. Grijalva is a former chairman of the CCAC.

On Friday, Alvarado said, "No payments have been made … but payments can only be paid if they have revenue or income … it's a funny formula."

Alvarado was asked how the city knows if the CCAC has money to repay the loan.

She said those sort of details would be discussed at the meeting with Renison and Inman.

>> Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or

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