VACAVILLE — The city council unanimously agreed that it was time to bring forward a policy to establish the need and purpose for a city vehicle and equipment replacement fund and establish a Capital Improvement Program for city facilities.
“This is not rocket science,” said Councilman Curtis Hunt. “It’s best practice.”
The city curbed or eliminated spending on both during the economic downturn replacing vehicles and equipment only when needed and setting aside just $70,000 out of the general fund for basic facilities maintenance.
During her presentation, Laura Kuhn, Vacaville’s city manager, said that with no capital improvement plan for major facility problems, such as replacing a generator, the money must come from reserves.
With the passage of two ballot measures and some one-time funds, the city has replenished its reserve with a projected increase in years to come, Kuhn said. With the positive reserve flow and upcoming budget preparations looming, city staff is looking for direction in re-establishing the funding mechanisms.
“Decisions need to be made about key cost issues,” she said.
While council members agreed with the need, some also had concerns and suggestions such as capping the funds if not using the money to avoid a “slush fund” situation and also looking at the mileage on vehicles and culling those not being fully utilized.
Councilman Ron Rowlett also urged care in filling the funds.
“I don’t want to do it all today,” he said.
Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.