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Grass Valley gets awaited tax revenue

A nearly $200,000 sales tax allocation to the city of Grass Valley at the end of September has put its finances in a less-dicey status, said Public Works Director Tim Kiser, the acting city administrator

The city council had enacted a 60-day freeze on discretionary spending in early September due to a concern that revenues from Measure N, a half-percent temporary sales tax increase, were lagging behind.

Measure N allocations reach the city several months after the sale point, based on estimates and with a portion withheld, Kiser previously explained. Once sales figures are cemented, that withheld portion is paid in chunks, referred to as a “true up,” and Grass Valley had feared its end-of-September true up would come in low.



When the $198,000 true up was determined, much of the financial fear was dissipated, Kiser noted.

“So that puts that up a little above budget. So that is good,” Kiser told The Union. “The major concern is alleviated. We might even come in a little higher.”




Still, Kiser cautioned that the city needs to exercise caution with its cash flow.

“We can make all the purchases planned for this year. It’s just a matter of cash flow and when you purchase those things,” Kiser said. “We just need to watch our purchases.”

Prior to the true up, the city had reduced the number of city officials attending the Integrated Emergency Management Course in November down to three from an originally planned seven. Additionally, Police Chief John Foster was denied a request to attend a grant-funded out-of-state training.

The police were also told to hold off on two of the five vehicle purchases they had planned and already garnered approval for with some of the Measure N funds. That matter is back on the council agenda for today’s meeting.

City manager details

Council is also slated to check off some formal proceedings in the process to convert from a city administrator form of government to a city manager model, one that gives the municipal executive more control.

The transition comes a month after former city administrator Dan Holler unexpectedly resigned and the city moved to temporarily replace him with Jeff Foltz, who was the interim city administrator prior to Holler’s 2008 hiring. However, the state’s employee pension program barred the city from hiring Foltz in the same interim capacity twice — something that can be sidestepped by hiring him as an interim city manager, City Attorney Michael Colantuono has said.

City officials insist that transitioning to a city manager form of government was something they had taken steps toward prior to Holler’s resignation. In 2012, voters approved some amendments to the city charter, including one that allowed for the management style change.

Among the tasks on the docket for today’s meeting is the adoption of an urgency ordinance — as the town currently lacks several key leadership employees — and outlining the job duties of a city manager, as well as hiring Foltz as the interim manager. Foltz has been officially consulting with the city for the last month while Kiser filled in as the acting city administrator.

The public portion of today’s meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. in the council chambers of Grass Valley City Hall, located at 125 E. Main St. An agenda for today’s meeting, along with reports on individual items, can be found at http://cityofgrassvalley.com.

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email crosacker@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.


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