City might OK budget on Monday

Emily Jo Cureton, The Triplicate

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."

Reach Emily Jo Cureton at ecureton@triplicate.com .

14030310
The Del Norte Triplicate
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