Fairfield council hears plans for Measure P spending

By From page A1 | January 27, 2013

FAIRFIELD — Money from Measure P will likely go toward building a 20 percent reserve and fund seven positions within police and fire.

Those are just a couple of the areas that will benefit from the estimated $13 million a year expected to come to Fairfield when the five-year, 1 percent sales tax measure starts adding to city coffers.

That money has also been identified to help restore code enforcement, fund the Senior Day Center, support the Main Street Association, fix streets and boost economic development by hiring an economic development director.

Those ideas and more were presented Saturday morning to the Fairfield City Council at the annual council workshop. Staff presented plans for how to spend the money, which will now be worked into budget proposals that ultimately must be approved by the council.

Saturday’s meeting also featured the accomplishments of 2012, a breakdown of factors for the upcoming budget and the legislative platform for the city as it pertains to state and federal government.

Unlike the past four years, the council did not have to discuss how it would cut millions from the budget.

“This is a Fairfield story. A good story. An emerging story,” said Mayor Harry Price as he closed the meeting. “When voters approved Measure P, they affirmed the direction the city is heading.”

Measure P is expected to bring in $12.75 million in 2013-14 and $13.25 million for the remaining four years of the bond, said David White, assistant city manager.

White said the measure starts collecting sales tax money in April, but the city won’t see any of it until the summer when the state will give the city an advance. White said the city will start collecting it in real time in September.

White presented a detailed list with costs on how it would be spent. First was $10 million a year off the top that would be put into reserves to accomplish the 20 percent the council agreed on.

For public safety, staff identified seven positions currently funded by grants that will expire in coming years. Grants to pay for two full-time positions with the Fire Department expire in August. A total of $291,000 was proposed in 2013-14 to pay for those positions and benefits. That cost is scheduled to increase by $25,000 each year, according to reports.

Five police officer positions funded by grants are also likely to be picked up when they expire in 2016-17. That cost for wage and benefits would be $776,000 and would increase $25,000 the next year, according to reports.

Reports show that $85,000 would be used to increase code enforcement. That money would stay the same for all five years.

A Police Activities League coordinator, at $83,000 to pay for salary and benefits, was also discussed. That number would increase by about $3,000 each year.

The council agreed that $50,000 a year will be used to fund the Senior Day Center and the Brain Booster program. Councilman John Mraz suggested that the center be opened for five days a week, instead of four.

Another $50,000 per year will go toward funding the Main Street Association and downtown activities.

That leaves about $2.1 million to repair streets and fund strategic initiatives, which were also unveiled Saturday. Those include economic development, addressing safety concerns in some neighborhoods and working with the youth.

Reach Danny Bernardini at 427-6935 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dbernardinidr.

Danny Bernardini

Danny Bernardini

Danny is a newspaper man born and raised in Vacaville. He attended Chico State University and has written for the Enterprise Record and the Reporter. Covers the City of Fairfield, education and crime. A's, Warriors and Saints fan. Listener of vinyl, frequent visitor to the East Bay. Registered "decline to state" voter. Loves a good steak.

Discussion | 1 comment

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  • George Guynn, JrJanuary 28, 2013 - 11:22 am

    Too bad that the public could only speak at the start of the meeting during public comments, not after the individual items. Too bad, also, that too much time was spent on bragging about how good things are, but not talking about how to really get better government that represents the average citizen. Thanks, Council Member Burtani, for asking for a transparent process in selecting the oversight board, and having a three member subcommittee. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear that the process is going to be transparent from the way that Council Member Mraz sized control of the subcommittee. Even though Measure P was billed as a temporary sales tax increase, bet there will be an effort to make it permanent when the five years are up!

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