Almanac

News - May 21, 2014

Revenues, spending rise in Atherton

by Renee Batti

Atherton officials are projecting robust revenues and a budget surplus for the 2014-15 fiscal year, prompting them to propose increased spending for some services, particularly in the police and public works departments.

The City Council will review preliminary figures from the town's number crunchers when it meets on Wednesday, May 21. The staff report projects general fund revenues of $11.6 million — even without factoring in revenue from the town's parcel tax and money that will almost certainly be arriving from a special state fund — and $11.5 million in spending next fiscal year. The budget for this fiscal year, which ends June 30, projected $10.8 million in revenue and $10.4 million in spending.

With higher-than-expected revenue this fiscal year, the council readjusted the budget after its June 2013 passage, allocating $2 million to pay down the town's unfunded post-employment benefits liability, and smaller amounts to increase maintenance in Holbrook-Palmer Park and along the public right-of-way, pay for a master plan for the civic center, boost code enforcement, and support the emergency preparedness program.

Go to tinyurl.com/Ath-504 and click on item No. 21 to read the staff report reviewing the preliminary budget.

Also on the agenda: The council will revisit the question of whether to support a $2.5 million project to renovate the carriage house in Holbrook-Palmer Park; council members will take a second look at a proposal to cede some of the public right-of-way on Parker Avenue to property owners; and the council will discuss possible use of the Gilmore House in the park, which has for years been used as the town manager's residence but is currently unoccupied because current manager George Rodericks continues to live in his longtime home in Marin County.

One possible use: as accommodations for police officers at the conclusion of their shifts, especially those who must commute a long distance to and from work.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at 94 Ashfield Road, in the Town Center.

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