The mayor and council held a joint meeting with the city finance committee on Feb. 6 at City Hall to discuss the city’s financial outlook for fiscal year 2012/2013.
De La Torre told both the finance committee and council that by June 30, 2013 the cities projected cash general fund will be 2.6 million almost $500,000 less than FY 2011/2012.
Currently the city has a $484,831 difference between revenue and expenditures. One of the main reasons for this is the drop in sales tax in Douglas.
The city along with the chamber of commerce has repeatedly expressed to the community the importance of “shopping Douglas first.”
Other possible issues the city may see is the Patient Protection and Affordable Act also known as Obamacare. Starting in 2014 the city must provide insurance for all employees working 30 or more hours a week. Currently the city has 13 employees that fall into this category; this may have a fiscal impact of $93,600.
Douglas is also looking a possible reduction in federal fund from Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), and the Arizona Department of Transportation Transit Programs & Grants.
De La Torre presented the council and finance committee with some recommendations such as officially scaling back the city’s organizational structure. Substantially reduce the city’s fleet. The city currently has 156 vehicles.
He also suggested transitioning to an automated garbage collection system and an automated meter reading program.
Other possibilities that would require further discussion would be to have an outside organization take responsibility for the golf course, cemetery, transit system and housing.
The mayor, city council and finance committee will continue to work together to improve the financial stability for the city.