Budget: The city council recently completed its workshops on the city budget for Fiscal Year 2018-2019, which starts on July 1. We are pleased that the General Fund budget is balanced for the 5th consecutive year after 10 years of deficit spending. The General Fund pays the expenses for most city services such as police, fire, parks and recreation programs and city facilities. The budget is one of the key ways that we set priorities.
The strong economy has helped us balance the budget, particularly with increased revenue from sales taxes and hotel taxes.
In addition to funding current operations, we are addressing long-term liabilities. Unlike many cities, we have funded the medical costs for current and future retirees from the city. Additionally, we are paying $4 million to off-set future pension costs. These liabilities represent significant challenges over the next 10 years for Rohnert Park and most other cities in California.
The budget includes nearly $10 million in capital projects for city streets, buildings, sidewalks, paths and parks. 57 percent of these expenses are paid by developers to expand existing infrastructure. 13 percent are paid by revenues from the casino to off-set impacts on the city. Taxes on gasoline contribute 10 percent toward these expenses. In future columns we will provide more detail on these projects.
Farmer’s Market: The sun is out, the weather is warming, kids are getting anxious for the end of the school year and the city is ramping up for another great summer of live entertainment, fresh produce and fun for the entire family. Party on the Plaza, in partnership with the Rohnert Park Farmers’ Market, returns Friday June 1 at City Center Plaza. We are committed to bringing local bands, food and businesses together to give attendees a complete summer entertainment package each Friday night in June, July and August. Additional features include kids’ activities, prepared food, adult beverages and specialty crafts for purchase. So, grab your dancing shoes, lawn chairs and friends to join the community from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday nights this summer. A complete line up of bands will be available on the city’s website at www.rpcity.org.
Summer street repairs: With the warm weather comes road rehabilitation season! This summer we are repaving Circle Drive, Cornell Avenue, Casa Way and the Golis Park parking lot. Preventative maintenance will be performed on all courts within Circle Drive and dig outs along the East Cotati Avenue. We will also rehabilitate Martin Avenue between Redwood Drive and Dowdell. Keiser Avenue will receive an asphalt overlay this summer between east of the Community Garden and Snyder Lane and a developer will pay to fully reconstruct the remainder to Petaluma Hill Road.
Peter Pan Comes to Rohnert Park: This is the opening weekend for Peter Pan, one of the all-time favorites in musical theater. Come join Wendy, Captain Hook, Tinkerbell and Peter himself as we transform the Spreckels Performing Arts Center into Neverland! The show runs through May 20. Tickets are available online and at Spreckels from noon to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and an hour before show time.