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Independent Voice

City of Dixon Mid-Year Budget Adjustments Report Net Increases

Mar 20, 2024 10:13AM ● By By Angela Underwood
Dixon Finance Director Kate Zawadzki requested an additional $300,000 from Mayor Steve Bird and the Dixon City Council at the March 5 meeting. Photo by Angela Underwood

DIXON, CA (MPG) - Dixon Mayor Steve Bird and the Dixon City Council approved a $600,000 increase in the fiscal year 2023-24 budget.

The figure is $605,266 to be exact, according to Dixon Finance Director Kate Zawadzki, who presented city officials with budget projections and adjustments at the March 5 City Council meeting. Before breaking down the budget, Zawadzki explained that the mid-year update was "slightly different than the quarterly update" due to more departmental input.

Zawadzki explained that the mid-year budget update included an additional $2,332,387 in revenues. After the new expenditures of $605,266, the city’s mid-year budget will have a net increase of revenue totaling $1,727,122.

"Obviously, we are very concerned about the finances as well, so we are monitoring the revenues and expenses, looking at this very closely, to see how we can get this budget more into balance," Zawadzki said.

Mid-year budget adjustments are presented after all city departments examine their expenses, projecting where they might save money or fall short by the year's end. The finance director said the request is "fairly close" to what she projected during the last quarterly update.

"I am projecting that at the end of this year, we would end with a fund balance of about 39%, which is about 11 and a half million dollars," Zawadzki said.

Although Zawadzi said she did "decrease property tax projections slightly this year," final figures are uncertain due to Solano County's backlog of property tax sales records.

"As you are aware, the county had some difficulty with a software implementation and they are very far behind on updating properties or any property splits that have occurred or any sales transactions that have taken place in the last nine months," Zawadzki said.

The finance director said Solano County officials informed her that it should be corrected by next year.

"We will have to see if they catch up by then," Zawadzki said. "Because in addition to the tax collector's office being behind, I had a conversation with the county assessor and audit controller, and it is definitely impacting them organizational-wise."

While property tax projections still need to be clarified, sales tax revenue does not, according to the finance director, who said the city of Dixon uses HdL Companies for accurate statewide comparison assessments.

"They are useful in providing this for most of the cities in the state, and so something that they can do because sales tax information is proprietary and you can't access other jurisdictions," Zawadzki said regarding HdL's statewide comparison.

"If they see the hours drop suddenly or unexpectedly, they can look at the other cities and see if somebody misreported, if it ended up in the wrong jurisdiction, or if this is a decline we are seeing in the state," Zawadzki said.

The projections help the finance department know where sales tax revenues are going, according to Zawadzki, who told officials that there is some recovery money in the sales tax coffers for fiscal year 2023 and 2024. The increase in General Funds of $317,000 is due to Public Works and Police Department overtime because of injuries or vacancies. 

"Public Works have been doing more community events since the city is more involved in those," Zawadzki said. "It requires more city staff time, and that is where the increase in their overtime budget request comes from."

Law enforcement overtime is directly related to overtime staffing due to injury or vacancy; however, the finance director said Dixon's Police Department is "very creative in ways to cover those vacancies without overtime, so when they incur, it is just something they could not avoid.”

Some of the funds needed will cover several employee separations, leaving the city of Dixon to pay out a contract leave balance.

"And when you have longtime employees separating, the numbers can be quite large," Zawadzki said.

The General Fund's mid-year capital outlay includes a cabling project for information technology, a new HVAC for the Police Department service room and a pool plaster project. The finance director said that any wastewater fund deficit is due to capital projects but the city's "reserves are strong enough to support."

While Zawadzki discussed water, sewer, and transit funds, she explained that those are enterprise funds, which come from a separate account. Before approving the increase, Councilmember Tom Bogue wanted to confirm that up to $300K for a proposed shade structure was included within the budget.

Thom Bogue Dixon

 Councilmember Thom Bogue, former Dixon mayor, is the only official to pose questions regarding additional requested funds from the city finance director. Photo courtesy of the City of Dixon website

"It was allocated in the budget," Zawadzki said. I think that the department is still investigating the shade structure and various operations, but as far as what is allocated, you have not approved a contract yet."

Zawadzki said that $15,000 would be decreased from the final requested number since additional funds were no longer needed for the arena fortification project. Before the final vote, the finance director informed officials that the fiscal year 2024-25 budget process had begun, with departments letting her know what they anticipated needing in the future. Zawadzki will present those requests on May 6.