City manager lays out Grass Valley’s budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year |

City manager lays out Grass Valley’s budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year

After a two-month delay, Grass Valley City Manager Bob Richardson presented the city council with a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2014-15 with $9.6 million in general fund expenditures projected.

“We started out this budget season with a deficit of $230,000 to $250,000,” Richardson said.

“The management team all worked together to come up with strategies of not only balancing that out, but restructuring so that we can have a productive year this year, he added. “Mette Richardson (no relation) headed up that process, and really did a super job.”

Part of that process involved cutting three personnel allocations, or jobs and salaries that have been approved by the council. But nobody was laid off to accomplish that.

“There were several positions that remained on the budget but had not been filled, and we simply removed them from the budget,” Richardson said.

Grass Valley will have nearly 97 personnel allocations for FY 14/15, down from 100 in FY 13/14. Back in FY 10/11, however, there were more than 107 personnel allocations.

That’s a loss of 10 employees over a period of five years.

“There’s no doubt there’s more to be done by each person, and frankly I think we will be an even smaller organization this time next year,” Richardson said. “Our job, though, is not to rely on the way government has always done business — but continue to look for new ways to get our job done.”

More than half of the general fund expenditures for this fiscal year, $5.3 million, will go to fire and police services. The public works department, which overseas roads, water lines, sewer systems and other infrastructure needs, will receive $1.1 million.

An additional $1 million has been earmarked for general government. That includes administrative and support services, according to Richardson.

“It would be city managers department, finance department, general city expenses and other support functions,” he said.

One of the city’s top priorities for administrative projects over the next fiscal year involves new software for payroll and human resources, as well as a new general ledger program.

Finance director Mette Richardson said the city has budgeted a total of $100,000 to acquire those systems. The costs and payroll expenses of implementing those new systems, however, will be deferred to FY 15/16.

To contact staff writer Dave Brooksher, send emails to or call 530-477-4230.

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