Wasco Tribune - Serving the community since 1970

By Toni DeRosa
Wasco Tribune 

Public Works director following Ortiz-Hernandez to Iowa

 

Birdiana Bishop

Public Works Director Biridiana Bishop will be leaving Wasco and relocating to Webster City, Iowa to be assistant city manager.

Bishop will be working under Daniel Ortiz-Hernandez, who is leaving Wasco as city manager to go to Webster City.

Bishop said she has submitted her resignation letter and will continue with the city until Aug. 13.

Bishop was promoted to Public Works director in 2019.

The Public Works director position will not be filled until the next mid-year budgeting process, the mayor said.

In other council business, Finance Director Isarel Perez-Hernandez reviewed the 2021-2022 proposed budget.

"The city's revenue outlook won't get better until the economy improves," Perez-Hernandez said. "Economy won't begin to improve until the public health crisis is over."

He said on a positive note, while the economy is still down from pre-covid-19 levels in many cases, key General Fund revenues are performing better than initially projected; however he said an adverse circumstance offset the improvement related to the labor housing complex demo/site clean-up project. The labor housing complex demolition is expected to cost $9.3 million.

Perez-Hernandez also said that several key strengths the city has in meeting the budget include starting with a balanced budget, "clean" audits, no unfunded retiree health care obligations, no General Fund debt obligations and a long-standing tradition of responsible financial management.

Revenues include General Property Tax, VLF Swap Property Tax, General Sales Tax, Measure X Sales Tax, Franchise Fees, Transient Occupancy Tax, Business License Tax and Property Transfer Tax.

While the projected 2020-21 taxes were $8,602,810, the 2021-22 taxes are projected to be $8,624,900. Along with other funding sources, the city's total revenue is projected to be $12,056,116 for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

In comparison, the 2020-21 projected expenditures $10,344,051 and the 2021-22 projected expenditures are $11,551,842.

Several budget items have increased since last year such as police services contract, fire services contract, CALPERS pension, health insurance and workers' compensation insurance costs. In addition, construction materials costs have also risen.

A breakdown of the Measure X appropriations was also presented at the meeting with sheriff services costing $1,500,000, fire services costing $600,000 and Flock safety cameras $100,000 for a total of $2,200,000.

Measure X funds will also be used for street improvements totaling $630,249, Public Transit Fare box Recovery Ratio Support of $20,000, construction of a new animal shelter of $200,000, State Board of Equalization Fees, and legal and sales tax consultant fees totaling $65,000 for a total Measure X Appropriations of $3,115,240.

Bishop also reminded residents that the state is currently in a drought, and the city never stopped utilizing the outdoor watering schedule.

The outdoor watering schedule is determined by house address ending number.

• EVEN address (ending in 0, 2, 4, 6 or 8 watering days are Sunday, Wednesday and Friday.

• ODD addresses ending in 1,3,5,7 or 9 watering days are Saturday, Tuesday and Thursday.

• Watering times are midnight to 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. to 11:59 p.m.

• There is no vehicle washing on Mondays and no outdoor watering between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. Water customers can be fined up to $500 for each violation and vehicle washing is the same as watering days 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

 

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