Sonora, CA– Economic development, job creation and discussion of Sonora’s city budget were the highlights of the State of the City address Tuesday evening during the Sonora City Council meeting.
“I want to mention the increased employment opportunities locally through the efforts of the city, the county and the economic development authority,” said City of Sonora Interim Administrator Tim Miller. “We’ve been successful in retaining and attracting new businesses. A couple that come to mind that are in the county and affect residents in the city, include the Mill reopening, SPI, and of course Kohls opening.”
Miller says this has resulted in declining unemployment rates. At the end of 2010, Tuolumne County’s unemployment rate was 13.4 percent, down from 15.6 percent last year. The City of Sonora is also facing a $400-500K deficit for the current fiscal year, so the Council will discuss potential cuts in the coming weeks.
“In order to achieve the kinds of savings that we’ll have to accomplish, it affects personnel, and things that we’ll be exploring with the bargaining groups include participation in the health plan, costs, participation in retirement costs, potentially salary reductions,” explained Miller. “If we can’t come to some resolution in that regard, then we might have to look at furloughs or layoffs to cut our personnel costs. The City can no longer afford to carry a $400-500K deficit and make up that difference out of the reserves.” The city will also consider worker furloughs.
Mid-year budget adjustments will come in February.