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The Calistoga City Council is set to adopt the city’s annual budget at the next regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, June 18.

City staff has put together a draft of the $13 million budget, with the majority of funds slated towards infrastructure projects, with the replacement of old water and sewer lines.

Additionally, the Palisades lift station liner needs to be replaced at a cost of about $600,000. The city is in line for $700,000 in grant funding, which would go toward these projects, said Mike Kirn, acting city manager.

The city has $5.5 million in the General Fund balance, which is significantly more than it had even a few years ago. However, staff is recommending $4.2 million in capital projects, a good portion of which could be funded by grants.

Staff previously reported the city’s financial outlook for the coming year remains stable, but the budget is tight. General fund revenues are at $11.6 million including transfers in of $500,000 to offset the cost of city overhead support.

The water enterprise system was short $250,000 at the end of FY 2018//2019, and Kirn said the deficit would be covered by a loan from the General Fund, which would be repaid by impact fees in the coming year.

The budget also includes $100,000 each for the Oat Hill Mine entryway improvements, Logvy Park, and downtown beautification. There is also $150,000 for improvements to the community pool including a concrete deck and shade structure.

During the budget proposal process, which began in February, council member Don Williams has argued for water rebates for residents in lieu of other projects, such as the Oat Hill Mine improvements, and paving the tennis courts. Other council members have said they would consider it at a later date, when the water enterprise system is in the black.

Other projects include $1.4 million in road repairs, to be funded by the general fund and Measure T road taxes.

The city is also paying $1 million to CalPERS by the end of the month, to save on the 7 percent interest it is currently paying for employee retirement benefits.

The three main sources of revenue for the city include hotel tax (transient occupancy tax) at 54 percent, property and sales taxes.

The city is also anticipating development impact fees from the Four Seasons resort totaling $930,000.

The meeting is at 6 p.m. at the Community Center, 1307 Washington St.

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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.