OROVILLE – The Oroville City Council adopted their 2020 operating budget in the amount of $10,121,550 at their Dec. 17 council meeting. The new budget is approximately $100,000 less than the current budget.
The budget includes $1,822,600 in the Current Expense Fund, $3,728,500 in the Water-Sewer Fund and $838,450 in the Street Fund. Other large ticket items include $445,500 in the Garbage Fund and $405,350 in the Parks Fund. There are also reserve fund budget items which include $445,400 in the Water Improvement Reserve, $359,500 in the Eastlake Water Improvement Reserve and $253,600 in the Eastlake Sewer Improvement Reserve.
At a previous Budget Workshop, JoAnn Denney, city clerk/treasurer, said the major project for 2020 will be the East Lake Water Association Consolidation to the city water system. The East Lake Water Association received a $919,000 grant from the state Department of Health (DOH) Drinking Water State Revolving Loan. The application was submitted to the DOH by the water association in November of 2018 for the consolidation of their system with that of the city’s. The association has agreed to pay all costs over the amount to be paid by the Drinking Water State Revolving Loan.
Denney also said the property and sales taxes are currently being split between Current Expense (67.5 percent), Street (29.5 percent) and Park (three percent); as Street struggles financially, the new budget reflects that split as Current Expense 67.5 percent and Street 32.5 percent.
The budget also reflects a $.50 per hour wage increase for all but two city employees. The City Clerk’s wage for 2020 will be equal to the 2014 wage of former City Clerk Kathy Jones and Police Clerk Brenda Rounds will receive a wage adjustment to a more appropriate wage for the position.
“The budget numbers are the same as we discussed at the last two meetings,” said Denney.
Councilman Ed Naillon made the motion to approve the 2020 budget for the upcoming year, saying, “The new budget is less by about $98,000 over this year’s. I’m proud of that.”
Councilman Robert Fuchs seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously by the council.
“Since I’ve been here I’ve been really happy with the way you people have handled our money,” said Councilman Mike Marthaller.
For more on the council meeting see the Dec. 26 issue of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune.