Sonora City Administrator Tim Miller says the city will not be able to restore staffing to what it was three to four years ago but the city is doing fine. A 30 percent reduction in city staff will remain with $4.6 million in the general fund and a small $11,000 surplus.
Miller says, “We have kind of turned the corner, things are getting better, sales tax is up about 3.5 percent, property tax is up about 1.5 percent.” He adds, “We didn’t have a very good tourist season this year so the TOT revenues are down. But overall revenues are up slightly, that is offset by expenses.” Miller said specifically, “Our health insurance costs are up, our retirement contributions are up, our other insurance programs are experiencing cost increases, but on balance we are holding our own so that is a good thing.”
Miller also reports that the city recieved a federal grant to hire veterans and the city will use that to add an officer in the police department.
Another grant will provide funding for two fire engineers in the fire department. The city had been staffing those two positions on a part time basis and now will be able to fund those two positions on a full time basis.
Miller also says the city has money for a few one time purchases such as two patrol vehicles and a tractor. The city budget calls for two major projects; the Mono way widening project and paving of Washington Street and other side streets.