By Erica Madison
After major cuts and loss of redevelopment money, Alameda finally presented its residents with good news; a balanced budget.
At Alameda’s special City Council meeting on June 26, City staff presented the Council with a budget, which saved $4.4 million for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
In order to reduce the deficit, department wide cuts were made.
Here’s the breakdown:
PERS, Alameda City’s pension plan for public service employees was renegotiated. Employees are now required to put more into their pension plan in order for Alameda to meet the federal requirements of the pension plan.
The Alameda Police department took one of the biggest hits, with a $1.1 million decrease in their operating budget. This decrease came in the form of eight jailer and three office positions cut.
The Fire department will have to go grant shopping if they want to buy new equipment for their water rescue program or for training sessions. Although no additional cuts were made in personnel, this department won’t receive any additional funding for equipment.
The city manager praised Alameda Fire Chief Mike D’Orazi for finding solutions to this problem. Firefighters won’t receive a salary increase and $500,000 of overtime pay was cut from 2011 and has contributed towards reducing the deficit.
On a positive note, no more hours have been cut from Alameda Libraries, but the city manager still managed to cut their budget. The operating budget for books, manuals, and other supplies was reduced by $68,000.
City hall cut $500,000 from their budget by reorganizing departments and giving their staff double responsibilities.
After all of these cuts were made, Alameda still needed an additional $1 million, which came as a one-time payment advance from the Alameda Municipal Power. The funds cover taxes AMP must pay to Alameda City in future years.
The budget passed with Councilmember deHaan being the only dissenting vote.