Napa Municipalities Bolster Staff, Spend on Delayed Improvements in New Fiscal Year | Local News

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Napa County municipalities are on the rise after the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and expect the recovery to continue with staffing and spending on delayed or needed improvements as fiscal year approaches 2022-23.

Due to the return of revenue, Napa municipalities are adding staff members. The City of Napa, for example, will operate with a General Fund budget of $110.8 million — about $10 million more than projected in the 2021-2022 budget — which adds seven positions, frees up 17 positions and provides for to hire for 54 currently vacant positions. This means the city is aiming to increase its membership from 435 members to 503 in the budget, although the city expects there will still be a number of vacancies over the coming year. The city also devotes more funds to housing, climate change and homeless services than in previous budget years.

For Yountville, the Napa municipality most dependent on the stream of hotel room revenue known as the Transient Occupancy Tax, the economic rebound has been dramatic.

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City Manager Steve Rogers told a Yountville City Council meeting last week that the cautious optimism of last year’s budgeting, given the uncertainty of COVID-19, has given way to a strong economic recovery. Revenue, he said, exceeded the 2021-2022 budget forecast by $2.5 million.

Given this recovery, the Yountville General Fund’s $12.6 million 2022-23 budget – an increase of approximately $1 million over the estimated 2021-22 expenditures – aims to bring service levels back Yountville to where they were in 2019 before the pandemic, Rogers said.

This includes adding two additional positions – an information technology position and a code compliance position – and giving employees a 7% cost-of-living adjustment after agreeing not to take one last year due to economic uncertainty.

“‘What a difference a year makes,’ is an apt description of this year’s proposed budget versus last year’s budget,” Rogers said during the meeting.

American Canyon, which is moving forward with a General Fund budget of about $25.4 million — an increase of about $1 million from 2020-21 — also aims to bring services back to normal levels. before the pandemic and adds several new positions.

Saint Helena City Council this week passed a general fund budget of $18.6 million, with plans to use about $1.3 million in reserves to balance the budget, leaving about $9 million dollars of reserves. Much of the reserve’s spending goes to one-time expenses, such as vegetation management, replacement of police vehicles, and improvements to the upper valley campus of Napa Valley College, where the city hall of Saint Helena is moving.

A good portion of Calistoga’s 2022-23 General Fund budget, approximately $1.8 million more than estimated spending for 2021-22, is also dedicated to similar one-time purposes, including projects such as maintenance. pavements and vegetation management. Calistoga agreed to a plan to hire eight additional staff members in April.

You can reach Edward Booth at 707-256-2213.

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