2022 budget adopted by Elk Grove City Council as street maintenance continues to be underfunded

At last night's meeting, the Elk Grove City Council unanimously adopted a budget of $273 million for the fiscal year 2022, which starts on July 1. Additionally, the city council approved the general fund budget for the next year of $78.7 million, representing an increase of $4.4 million from the current year. 

Law enforcement continues to be the largest single cost in the general fund budget. This coming year it represented about 67-percent of the general reserve for $53.2 million, and the police department will hire four sworn-officer recruits. 

The single largest revenue source for the general fund continues to be sales taxes. For the coming year, sales tax revenues are expected to general $32.2 million, or about 39-percent of the total.

The total budget has declined to $273 million, decreasing $31 million from the current year's budget. The drop is primarily attributed to the discontinuation of the city's eTran bus service and its annexation into the Sacramento Regional Transit system and is expected to decrease over the next five years as capital projects are completed.   

During city council deliberation, the only inquiry on the budget came from District 3 councilmember Kevin Spease asked what he characterized as a "softball question" to the city public works department. Spease wanted to know what was in the capital improvement projects (CIP) budget to improve things for residents.

"Can you give me the or two public works times in the CIP that we are going to see this year that residents should be excited about, that's going to make their life better, make traffic faster, going to make people safer," he said. "What's that one or two things."

Responding to Spease was newly installed public works director Jeff Werner who cited the Old Town Plaza, the nature preserve at District56, and widening of Kammerer and Gantline roads that he said would "improve safety, along with mobility" both of those corridors. Werner also noted that the city received a $15 million grant to help improve traffic flow along Bond Road and Elk Grove Boulevard.

While Werner painted a rosy picture of road improvements during the meeting, when responding to Spease, he did not include the city's ongoing street maintenance deficiencies. As noted on page 19 of the report, it stated "the City must still invest in pavement maintenance to maintain the current average PCI (pavement condition index). Since its inception, the City has not had sufficient revenues to fully fund pavement maintenance needs." 

The report also noted that $12.1 million is needed for street maintenance, but only $7.9 million is budgeted for each of the next five years. 

The budget document can be viewed here

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