The expenditure of the general fund and all other funds for the fiscal year of 2020-21 was approved unanimously by the Patterson City Council on Tuesday, June 16.
Although the final budget has yet to be finalized, under the recommendation of city staff to continue normal and necessary operations for the general fund and all other funds, the council approved the general fund’s expenditures as necessary at “an appropriation level not to exceed that of the fiscal year 2019-2020 budget.”
The city is preparing a proposed budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year and will experience significant revenue reductions due to the COVID-19 pandemic that has impacted the state since March, forcing the city to look at reducing operating costs. Finance Director Saadiah Ryan stated that staff is looking at various options to reduce costs ahead of the anticipated revenue reduction.
City staff is still receiving figures on what impact the reduction in sales tax will have on the overall budget. Yet, City Manager Ken Irwin revealed that previous data estimated the loss to be at $1.5 million. City Councilmember Dennis McCord raised concerns about what impact the reduced revenue will have and how the city plans to reduce spending to compensate for the loss. More accurate figures on revenue loss will be revealed in the coming weeks.
Budget workshops to address the council’s issue have not yet been scheduled due to further negotiations with bargaining groups that are still in progress. The negotiations with the bargaining groups are required in order to advance forward with the proposed budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year.
Once the workshop is scheduled, following negotiations with the three bargaining groups, the proposed general fund budget, and all other budgets will be presented by city staff and reviewed with the council. At this time, the council will hear more detailed operational plans and proposed projects and be able to provide direction to staff for the upcoming fiscal year.
City Manager Irwin stated that the goal is to have a workshop ready for the first meeting of July and then a second meeting to finalize the new budget by the end of July or at worst the beginning of Aug.
City Hall reopening and coronavirus update
City Manager Irwin offered an update to the current state of the city during the COVID-19 pandemic. The City of Patterson is currently following state guidelines in regards to the virus. The county revised its orders to reflect state orders only.
Irwin announced a reopening of City Hall on June 22.
An employee at the door will greet residents before they enter to control the number of people allowed into the building at any given time to conform with social distancing protocols. Each resident will have their temperature checked by the person at the door, and all residents must wear face coverings to enter the building.
City Hall’s billing departments are the only in-person services available at this time. Residents looking to handle other matters with the city, such as permits, are being encouraged to do so online. More in-person services will be available as the state continues its recovery and reopening process from the COVID-19 pandemic. Local figures on positive cases and reopening restrictions will be used as guidance as City Hall opens its doors in a more robust capacity.
City Council meetings will remain virtual until Phase 3 or 4 of Gov. Newsom’s reopening plan, depending on what Newsom decides in the future.
The city is also working on a gradual reopening of facilities across the city. The city will likely replace most fixtures with touchless operations to help reduce the chance of spread. Measures such as temperature checking, plexiglass dividers, and encouraging online services, will continually be a part of the reopening plan.
Irwin also revealed that the T.W. Patterson Sports Complex is allowed for family play, walking/jogging, walking dogs, and modified youth sports for skills training since June 12. Youth sports are permitted to begin training, but teams are still not allowed to compete at this time.
Activities that are still not allowed at the sports park complex are modified league play and large gatherings. Playgrounds at any park in Patterson are still closed.
Promissory note to the West Patterson Finance Authority
The council unanimously approved two items that authorized the City Manager to execute an assignment and assumption agreement to assign a promissory note to the West Patterson Financing Authority on Tuesday.
The primary role of West Patterson Financing is to issue special tax bonds that are used to finance the cost of certain engineering, design, construction, and other expenses related to public infrastructure improvements.
Back in 2016, the City of Patterson purchased a property located at 0 Park Center Drive to build a public safety center. West Patterson Financing Authority used funds from the issuance bond to contribute funds to the city for the purchase of the property.
On March 22, 2019, the city sold the property in question to Darron Silva. To purchase the property, Silva entered into an amended promissory note secured by a deed of trust agreement where the City of Patterson agreed to loan $1,045,000. When the city sold the property, the city was required to repay the West Patterson Financing Authority’s contribution for the initial purchase by the city in 2016. The city was repaying the contribution through the purchaser’s repayments of the note.
The purpose of this action was from the city auditor’s recommendation to formalize the city’s repayment of the West Patterson Financing Authority’s contribution.
The proposal formalized the repayment, and the promissory note’s rights were assigned to West Patterson Financing Authority.
City approves levy and collections of assessments
Council unanimously approved a resolution ordering the levy and collection of assessments for Benefit Assessment Districts (BADs), the Landscape Maintenance Districts (LMDs), and CSA No. 15 for the fiscal year of 2020-21.
The reason for the assessments is to generate revenue to operate and maintain the facilities such as street lights, drainage lines, drain inlets, pump stations in each district.
A trio of issues was brought up during the public comment period of Tuesday’s meeting.
Patterson resident Robert Fairchild raised his concerns about the Del Puerto Reservoir Project. He shared his family lived in Idaho and was in the area the day before the Teton Dam collapsed flooding several communities in the Snake River Plain area in June of 1976. He revealed his family was camping in the area the day before the collapse. The family had to leave the night before, and Fairchild stated he remembered watching the newsreels of cars floating down through the middle of Rexburg, Idaho. He stated there are “unnerving” similarities to the dam project currently being proposed in Del Puerto Canyon. He asked the council to review the project further.
Patterson resident Cherise Grice raised questions about the skatepark in town asking when the park would officially be reopened for public use. It was revealed later in the meeting by City Manager Ken Irwin that the city is currently waiting on signs that need to be posted before some facilities can reopen informing the public about social distancing and other hazards of using the facilities. He was not able to offer a specific timeline for when the city will be able to reopen the skate park.
Members of the Patterson High water polo team also chimed in to ask the council to have the Patterson Aquatic Center facilities available for team use by the fall season. Team members Kaeley Wheeland, Justin Leon, and Jacob Zuniga, spoke on the program’s behalf, explaining how important it was to student-athletes to have the opportunity to play in the fall. The student-athletes stated that the program would make any adjustments necessary to be able to practice and hold games following measures in place due to the pandemic. Irwin noted that a meeting in the coming weeks about water sports is scheduled.
A single-action approves all items in the consent calendar. No items were pulled for separate discussion by the council, staff, or members of the public. The consent calendar was approved unanimously. They were:
- 5.1 Motion to Waive Readings
- 5.2 Approve City Department Reports for the Month of May 2020 for the Departments of Community Development, Finance, and Public Works
- 5.3 Approve City Commission Reports for the Month of May 2020 (Parks Recreation and Beautification Commission)
- 5.4 Adopt Resolution No. 2020-30 Calling for a City Election and Requesting from the Stan. County Board of Supervisors to Consolidate the City of Patterson’s Election for Districts A and C (4 Year Terms) and Mayor-at-large (two-year terms) with the Nov. Presidential General Election to be held November 3.
- 5.5 Approval of corrected salary schedule for the Patterson Management-Mid-Management Association (PMMEA) effective January 1, 2020, approved by council on May 19, 2020
- 5.6 Approve Resolution No. 2020-31, accepting as complete the 2018 North Activated Sludge Treatment System Upgrade Project. Authorize staff to file the notice of completion and commence a one-year warranty period.
- 5.7 Accept all bids for the roundabout at Salado Avenue and 7th street project, award construction to United Pavement Maintenance, Inc., and authorize staff to execute the contract.