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Completing a process that began in March, the city council on Tuesday approved the FY 2019/2020 budget, with $12.5 million in reserves, and a little over $7 million in the General Fund.

There was no change in slated capital improvement projects, with most of the funds going toward water and sewer improvements, with $1.2 million going toward replacement of the Palisades lift station and geothermal meters. This year there will be a transfer of funds from the General Fund to the water systems, but Mike Kirn, city manager, said he doesn’t foresee that happening in 2020.

Impact fees from the Silver Rose and Calistoga Hills Resort total more than $900,000.

The budget was approved 3-1, with Vice-Mayor Michael Dunsford absent, and Council Member Don Williams casting a dissenting vote. Williams has said since the beginning of the budget process that he is concerned over prioritizing capital improvement projects such as downtown beautification over water rebates for residents.

Other projects include $1.4 million in paving maintenance.


Enrichment Grants

In other city business, this year’s Community Enrichment Grant recipients were announced. Although there were $110,000 in requests, the city has $31,000 in reserves to be dispersed among the recipients. Priority was given to programs benefiting elders, youth, Hispanic, the environmental and the greater good of the community.

They include: The Boys & Girls Club, The Calistoga Art center, the Calistoga Chamber of Commerce for the Lighted Tractor Parade, the Community Garden, Calistoga Little League, the Calistoga Rotary, Celebrate! Napa Walley, Community Action of Napa Valley, Collabria Care, LGBTQ Connection, Rihanda house, and UpValley Family Centers.

Animal control services

The city has also engaged with North Bay Animal Services for animal control and shelter services beginning in July. The 3-year agreement is for $48,000 per year. This will include responding to services for stray, injured and deceased domestic animals taken to an animal shelter in Petaluma.

A drop-off kennel will be located behind the Calistoga Police Department where animals will be held until they can be picked up and taken to the shelter, which will be open from Tuesday through Saturday, with appointments on Sunday and Monday.

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You can reach Cynthia Sweeney at csweeney@weeklycalistogan.com or 942-4035.


The Weekly Calistogan Editor

Cynthia Sweeney has been editor of The Weekly Calistogan since July, 2018. Previously, she was a reporter for the St. Helena Star, and North Bay Business Journal. She also spent a significant amount of time freelancing in Hawaii.