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Midyear budget report shows city revenues, expenditures trending down

Iron Horse Trail beautification, new city phone system, library renovation update also on tap

San Ramon's general fund revenues and expenditures are tracking slightly below early-year estimates, according to the city's midyear budget review set to be presented to the City Council on Tuesday night.

General fund revenues are projected to be $1.4 million less than levels estimated in the 2015-16 fiscal year budget, with shortfalls in sales tax, franchise fees, service charges and other revenue, according to a staff report by Eva Phelps, city administrative services director. There has been an increase in property tax receipts though, she noted.

General fund expenditures are estimated at $700,000 below budget due to savings from unfilled city staff vacancies, Phelps said.

Other highlights from Phelps' midyear budget report include general fund reserves being projected as $28 million at fiscal year's end, before supplemental appropriations, and the city's merging of the public services and engineering departments to create a new Public Works Department.

The city's general fund budget needs to be adjusted to reflect new appropriations of about $147,000 due mainly to increased police costs, including nearly $75,000 in staff overtime and $25,200 for work stations for the department's new Crime Prevention and Community Services Division, Phelps said.

Staff also recommends adjustments to reflect $177,497 in increases in the Dougherty Valley fund, split between $100,000 for the Dougherty Valley tree management program and the rest for police costs in the area.

The council will discuss the proposed budget adjustments and the overall midyear report during its regular meeting, scheduled to start at 7 p.m. inside the council chamber at 2222 Camino Ramon.

In other business

* The council will consider authorizing a notice of completion for the Iron Horse Regional Trail landscaping and beautification project, with construction completed by San Jose-based Jensen Corp.

The basic project work included planting, trash and recycling bins, irrigation, benches, mile posts and signage, entry markers and efforts to mitigate arsenic levels in several soil areas, according to division manager Robin Bartlett. Enhanced-scope project components included shade structures, drinking fountains, informational signage and more plants in certain trail areas.

Six local Rotary Clubs also held a volunteer day in November to plant trees and shrubs at six sites along the trail, Bartlett said.

There is almost $91,000 still available in the project budget, so staff recommends the council add items to the project, including new benches, boulders, bases for signage and directional signs.

* Council members will discuss endorsing a contract with Pleasanton-based Maverick Networks, Inc., to provide and install new phone equipment in the new City Hall and all other city facilities.

"The city has a need for a new phone system and the construction of the new City Hall provided an opportunity to save cabling cost in the new facility by upgrading the system during the move," information technology division manager Rick Maria said, also noting that the phone system runs over the same data cables as the computer systems

The equipment and installation agreement, plus a three-year maintenance option and 10% contingency, is for an amount not to exceed $184,727.

* The council will also hear an update about the San Ramon Library renovation project.

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