With the economy of California and the nation as a whole in serious question, the Dos Palos City Council approved a budget of $5.9 million for the 2022-23 fiscal year.
The city’s police department will have a budget of $1.6 million, the largest expenditure in the budget.
New city manager Dewayne Jones called the budget cautious.
“I think it’s a good budget,” Jones explained. “It’s a little cautious.”
He said that Dos Palos, like most California cities, will have to pay more into the state’s Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) during the coming years.
“We will have to pay extra into the PERS system because of bad investments that have left the fund short,” Jones said. “That’s one reason we have to be fiscally responsible.”
As far as the one-time Covid money that was disbursed from both the state and federal government, Jones said that some money was spent on PPE equipment for city employees, and $1.4 million from the American Recovery Act is being used to refurbish the city’s water tank.
“The work on the water tank is almost done,” he added.
As for the Parks budget of $244,000, Jones said that $178,000 of that number is a grant that will be used for a much-needed upgrade to Pierini Park, the city’s youth baseball facility.
Dos Palos police chief Rich McEachin said that considering the current economic climate, he is pleased with this year’s budget.
“It (the police department budget) went up from last year, but not considerably,” McEachin said.
“We have a small remodeling project that we are working on here to make the PD safer, but other than that, we do not have any additional significant expenditures planned. We have two new hybrid SUV patrol vehicles that will be purchased in the next month or so, with almost 50 percent of the cost being covered by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, and the remainder coming from the General Fund.”
Jones added that the city is on solid financial ground.
“But we are proceeding cautiously,” he said. “It is a good, conservative budget and we will be able to perform our day-to-day operations.”