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ORANGE | Community News Focus

Spending Up Slightly in New City Budget

May 02, 1996|LESLEY WRIGHT

City spending will rise just a fraction in fiscal 1996-97, according to a preliminary budget presented by the city manager this week.

The city could keep the proposed budget of $49.3 million close to last year's budget of $49.1 million by leaving some vacant jobs unfilled and using more contract workers, City Manager David L. Rudat said.

Residents will not see any increase in taxes, fees or rates, Rudat said, and should not notice any drop in services if a City Hall reorganization goes well.

"We really are doing a lot with a lot less," Rudat said. The ratio of city employees to residents is at its lowest level in 25 years--about five city workers for every 1,000 residents, he said.

Revenue is up slightly to $49.5 million from last year's $49.1 million, Rudat said, because of one-time income in the form of funds for freeway improvements and a rebate from the state's retirement system.

City Council members, presented with the fiscal proposal Tuesday, said they were pleased with it, though Mayor Joanne Coontz suggested that the city develop some way to track the work of contractors so residents do not notice any decline in service levels.

A public hearing on the budget is set for May 28.

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