HUGHSON — As nearby cities lay off workers and slash millions of dollars, this city is sitting comparatively pretty, only $65,000 in the red.
On Tuesday night, City Manager Joseph Donabed presented a $1.99 million general fund budget for 2009-10, which includes no layoffs or cuts to city serv- ices.
The council is set to vote on the package at its regular meeting Monday.
Hughson also has a generous reserve fund to lean on, amounting to 35 percent of the general fund budget.
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Anticipating a tough 2010-11 budget year, Mayor Ramon Bawanan said he did not want to touch the reserve fund.
"We're not in trouble, but we have to be very prudent," he said.
Hughson avoided deep cuts this year by pre-empting California's budget meltdown. For the past two budget years, Hughson has kept 20 percent of its work force vacant, including maintenance workers and a parks and recreation manager. Meeting and travel budgets were cut. Supplies such as new furniture and computers were axed.
Donabed proposed adopting a budget with the $65,000 deficit, then spending the summer working to close the gap.
"The budget is in good enough condition," he said.
The Hughson City Council will meet Monday at 7 p.m., 7018 Pine St.
Bee staff writer Merrill Balassone can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 578-2337.