The Chowchilla City Council recently adopted a balanced $24.86 million spending plan, officials announced Sunday, a roughly 4 percent increase from last year.
The council voted unanimously to increase spending by about $1 million compared to last fiscal year, which includes a $7.1 million general fund, according to records.
Mayor Waseem Ahmed said the council listened to residents’ needs during goal-setting workshops, town hall meetings and through other efforts.
“I am also pleased that the strength of our budget has allowed us to meet the needs of our staff through increases in salaries while investing in our streets and sidewalks, economic development, completing grant-funded projects and improving the city’s ability to address infrastructure needs,” he said in a news release.
$24.86 million Chowchilla’s 2016-17 budget
City leaders have said creating jobs remains the town’s highest priority. Chowchilla took a blow in April when Brake Parts Inc., one of the largest private employers in Chowchilla and Madera County, announced it would lay off approximately 40 workers while moving production to Mexico.
The city has adopted business-incentive programs that leaders say could help drive up job creation.
Chowchilla also will invest in plans for developing industrial lands already within city limits, according to officials, and also will work with businesses locating downtown to comply with the council’s design standards.
City Administrator Brian Haddix said the budget maintains public safety service levels, pays for maintenance and upgrades to roads and sidewalks, and directs resources to economic development and job creation, among other efforts.
The City Council adopted a reserve policy in April that establishes a reserve level of at least 17 percent, according to a news release, which is the Government Finance Officers Association recommendation of two months of operating funds.
The 2016-17 fiscal-year budget has a reserve of 27.83 percent, according to a news release.
“This budget also works to take care of the employees the council depends on to achieve its goals while driving forward toward a stronger city,” Haddix said.