On Tuesday, Santa Rosa City Council passed the city’s 2022-23 fiscal year budget totaling $478.8 million, a 0.8 percent increase from the prior fiscal year’s $474.9 million adopted budget. The budget includes a robust capital improvement program (CIP) as well as a replacement plan for fire equipment. The budget also outlines the use of funds for public safety needs from the Measure O quarter cent sales tax.
The slight increase in budget from the prior fiscal year emphasizes a push to get the city “back to basics” while providing high quality services, functions, and needs as the city continues to emerge from the pandemic with a balanced General Fund budget.
“We do see the cracks after years of dealing with disasters,” said Mayor Chris Rogers during the approval of the item. “This budget feels like we’re turning a corner and getting back to being more proactive in addressing the needs of the community.”
Highlights of the budget include:
- $68.4 million CIP, with examples of specific projects:
- $37.16 million for water improvements, including replacing sewer lines, water mains, and improving stormwater drainage among others
- $10.75 million for Highway 101 Bike/Pedestrian Overcrossing
- $1.275 million for the removal of replace the wading pool, as well as other upgrades, to the Finley Aquatic Center.
- $641,062 for repairs to Garages 1, 3, and 5 and for Lot 10.
- $881,108 for improvements to Fremont Park
- $848,616 for improvements to South Davis Park
- $2.45 million for general improvements to park amenities
- $1 million for Laguna Treatment Plan basin improvements
- $12 million from Measure O funding for public safety and violence prevention programs
- $3.27 million for fire prevention measures
- $1.16 million the city’s inRESPONSE mobile mental health support team
“In the past, we haven’t been able to present a structurally balanced budget because of the wildfires,” said City Manager Maraskeshia Smith. “We’re at a point now where we can manage revenues and manage expenses. What that has allowed us to do is stop being reactionary and instead be more prescriptive.”
In May, Council went through a two-day budget study session, presented by each department, that provided an overview of the city’s current financial condition and an in-depth view of the city’s proposed FY 2022-23 Operations and Maintenance and CIP Budgets.
You can re-watch the approval of the 2022-23 budget at Tuesday’s meeting here.