City of San Marcos adopts balanced budget plans to invest in infrastructure rehabilitation

The San Marcos City Council passed and adopted a $63.7 million general fund budget in June for the Fiscal Year 2014-15, which begins July 1. The general fund pays for important services such as fire protection, law enforcement, street and park maintenance, recreation services, land use planning and general administration.

After undergoing a significant overhaul last year, the budget document is now easier for individuals unfamiliar with budgeting processes to understand. The document also includes revenue and expenditure summaries for each department, summarizes each department function, outlines how the budget supports the City’s strategic goals and includes information on non-general fund spending.

“The goal is to make it easier to learn about the City’s budget, programs and services while presenting a more accurate depiction of costs and where each dollar is being spent,” said Finance Director Laura Rocha. “As stewards of the public dollar, the City is committed to continually improving transparency accountability.”

The budget also sets aside funding for long-range maintenance of City buildings, roads and sidewalks, lighting and storm drains, parks and landscaping, and equipment and vehicle replacement. As San Marcos ages, it becomes increasingly important to maintain existing infrastructure.

“By making small investments in City assets over time and supporting long term financial planning, the City is preventing future costs that can grow exponentially,” said City Manager Jack Griffin.

The budget set-aside planned will help the City address the accumulated maintenance project backlog, reduce long-term costs and improve the quality of life in San Marcos.

Overall, the City’s finances remain steady and the budget for the new fiscal year supports the policy to maintain a reserve of at least 50 percent of the projected general fund expenditure.

“As the economy continues to recover and challenges remain for all levels of government, San Marcos is positioned well and has maintained a conservative fiscal approach moving forward,” said City Manager Jack Griffin.

Despite this slow economic recovery period, the City has benefited from moderate revenue increases. Sales and property tax, which account for 50 percent of general fund revenues, have increased by nearly two and five percent respectively.

Complete budget documents are available on the City’s website, www.san-marcos.net/finance.

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