The Fountain Valley City Council unanimously approved the city's $36 million operating budget Wednesday night for the 2012-13 fiscal year.
Partially due to the elimination of redevelopment money by the state, the city will start the fiscal year looking at a mild deficit of $439,000, but plans are already in place to close that gap and eventually create a surplus of about $132,000. The city will save about $179,000 by choosing not to hire for certain positions, another $248,000 by offering early retirement to a select group of employees, and another $145,000 by choosing to continue working with a part-time fire chief rather than hire one full time.
The city will also spend about $15 million on capital improvements, $1.7 million of which will come from its reserve fund. Another $4 million in debt service will have to be spent, also in response to the loss of redevelopment money. The city's successor agency, formed to tie up any loose ends in the wake of the dissolved redevelopment agency, will have a budget of about $40 million, about $32 million of which will be transferred back to the state. Another $6.9 million was to have been used for a , but Finance Director Sherri Holman said that plan could be on hold pending approval from the state.
As part of the budget process, the council also approved the city's fee schedule, which hasn't seen any increased fees since the 2007-08 fiscal year while still maintaining full cost recovery for city services.