City manager’s mid-year budget update reveals 10% more in revenue, 6% less in city expenses
■ By Kyle Selby / Reporter
San Jacinto City Manager Rob Johnson has presented a mid-year budget update for the 2017/2018 fiscal year, which promises a strong and financially stable future for the city of 47,925.
Even before the adoption of the fiscal year budget in June, Johnson had been blazing a trail of economic flourishment for the city since he joined staff one year ago.
“I like to use this tagline, ‘establishing a solid financial foundation, while prudently planning for the future.’ That’s our goal,” said Johnson. With other slogans like “the year of transition and economic recovery,” and “the 129-year-old start-up city,” Johnson addressed the economic improvements the city of San Jacinto has made in the past year, after a long drought of facing its own series of dire straits.
Within the last year, San Jacinto has hired two new code officers, one code supervisor, three additional police deputies and has approved both indoor and outdoor cannabis cultivation permits.
With the help of newly acquired partner Retail Strategies, a national retail recruitment firm that is creating the city’s new demographic package, San Jacinto has also welcomed a surplus of new businesses to town, including Aldi Grocery (which just had its groundbreaking ceremony Monday), Starbucks (in development), Wienerschnitzel (expecting its groundbreaking soon), Mason Jar Ranch Bistro & Brew Pub (economic incentive approved in December; brewery based in Menifee, expected to expand into San Jacinto by winter 2018), and the acquisition of 235 residential building permits for the 2017 calendar year.
Additional developments under application include Sonic Drive-In, the proposed Luiseño Marketplace (19-30k square feet at the southwest corner of Ramona Expressway and Main Street), Mountain View Plaza (30k square feet at the southwest corner of State Street and Community Drive), two RSI Communities housing tracts (Almaden and La Ventana), and Griffin Communities to complete at least 50 more homes (7th Street and Ivy Crest Drive).
The 1.1 mile rehabilitation of San Jacinto Avenue’s pavement and four lanes has made transportation around the city increasingly accessible, and City Hall has gained a much needed upgrade with the installation of a key-card access system, front counter redesign, and four additional cubicles for staff. New agenda and records management programs are also on the way, which will save staff and the council a fortune on costs and time.
The city has improved 40 non-signalized intersections with ADA improvements, and 27 signalized intersections. The City’s local hazard mitigation plan has also been completed.
San Jacinto has also greatly improved its online presence since Johnson came onboard, giving the community the opportunity to stay up to date on the city’s newest developments almost immediately. With a brand new website redesign on the way, San Jacinto has already implemented a new press release template, an e-newsletter, and heavy social media engagement from staff and council, Johnson’s favorite hashtag “#gosanjacinto” is more prevalent than ever.
The approval of the community choice aggregation program, San Jacinto Power (SJPower) came with a brand new website of its own, sanjacintopower.com, and will be hosting its “power kickoff” on April 1.
$1 million in SB1 local street improvements was approved in December, and city staff are currently working on canvassing possibilities for a new well site while completing and updating the city’s water master plan.
A look at the General Fund and Development services (as pictured in Chart 1) at Tuesday’s council meeting projected that year-end revenues exceed the adopted budget by $1,660,473 (10 percent). Expenses are also expected to be reduced by 6 percent anticipating a $2,702,872 net gain for the city by the end of the fiscal year. Charts 2 and 3 indicates the specific breakdown of general fund revenues and expenditures by source.
“I think these numbers show that we are very, very active, and that we are very big players in the regional scene now with retail, residential development, and business…we’re open for business!” Proclaimed Johnson. “We’re going to continue to get more and more amenities for our residents.”