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Imperial adopts budget

June 30, 2011|By SILVIO J. PANTA | Staff Writer

IMPERIAL — It fell short of what everyone wanted but the spending plan enacted Wednesday by the City Council here reflects $6.5 million in revenues for the next fiscal year with expenditures slightly higher at $6.7 million.

That leaves the city of Imperial with a deficit of roughly more than $92,400, which by the estimation of City Manager Marlene Best and others in the City Council was a significant reduction from an earlier projected shortfall of $800,000 in January.

To accomplish this and have the city end the current fiscal year and start the new one with a general fund balance of $2.9 million, every department had to make cuts, Best explained after the special meeting.

This meant cutting expenditures on such things as travel, supplies and leaving certain city positions vacant upon retirements, Best said.

Still, the impact the state’s budget will have on Imperial remains unknown as redevelopment agencies are slated for elimination in Gov. Jerry Brown’s $86 billion budget.

However, Sacramento lawmakers stipulated that any RDA — which provides money to improve blight areas earmarked for growth — can still be allowed to operate provided that a certain amount of property tax collected for schools, fire protection districts and other needs is diverted to the state.

Imperial’s share to keep its RDA alive is estimated to be $711,000 during the first year, and $67,000 every year after, Best explained.

While operating under a budgetary shortfall wasn’t what anyone on the council wanted, Mayor Mark Gran did say it was better than what a draft plan first projected, and he praised city staff for working diligently on getting the deficit reduced.

Gran ended the segment that dealt with city’s spending plan by telling the council, “OK. We have a budget.”

Staff Writer Silvio J. Panta can be reached at 760-337-3442 or at

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