Money doesn’t grow on trees. It does keep the grass cut, the potholes filled and the customers satisfied.
How Crescent City spends and makes money over the next year will be decided Monday, after one last public hearing on the city’s proposed 2012-13 budget. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the Flynn Center, 981 H St.
City funding for the Chamber of Commerce is slated to take a $10,000 hit, though this amount could go up or down at the council’s direction. City staff originally recommended a $37,000 reduction.
Closing Fred Enderts Municipal pool on Saturdays from June through September has been added to the list of possible service reductions. This would save $17,000.
The council agreed to close the pool on Sundays last fall, just two years after the facility got a $1 million make-over. In 2011, the pool logged 48,500 individual admissions, while the pool budget dipped $264,000 under water.
The Chamber got $87,000 from the city last year, to fund visitor services ($36,000), regional marketing ($40,000) and in part, the annual Fourth of July fireworks show ($11,000). Del Norte County also funds visitor services provided through the Chamber, some $84,300 last year. The county’s proposed budget would keep funding at the same level through summer 2013.
Chamber of Commerce functions not directly related to visitor services, such as mixers, luncheons, dinners and the Sea Cruise annual car show, are funded with member dues, not public money, said Executive Director Gina Zottola, who bemoaned the short notice.
The fiscal year begins in two days, on July 1, three days before the busiest day of the year for Crescent City, during the busiest month of the year for the Visitor’s Center, which recorded 4,320 people walking through its doors last July. The same body count for January was 238.
No matter how the City Council slices it up, it faces deficit spending. The task is to determine just how much from savings should be spent on discretionary services. City Manager Eugene Palazzo has strongly cautioned the council not to let reserves dip below $700,000, since bills and paychecks are sometimes due before tax revenues trickle in throughout the year.
The general fund’s reserve is already well below the $1.3 million mark deemed officially “prudent.”