City’s budget balanced and reserves remain at $2.25 million

Retirement and healthcare could be coming budget challenges
By: Sara Seyydin Journal Staff Writer
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The City of Auburn is expected to achieve a balanced budget this year after reviewing its fiscal mid-year figures and presenting them to city council Monday night. Despite the healthy prognosis, Andy Heath, administrative services manager, said the city has had to gradually reduce the percentage of its budget that it sets aside for reserves since 2005 from 54 percent to 33 percent. The reserves have enabled Auburn to weather the difficult economic times in the past few years, he said. For 2 2012, said the city is anticipated to have an additional $49,000 left over after all anticipated expenses have been paid. The economic uncertainties reserve fund currently stands at $2.25 million. “We have been able to stay at about the $2.25 million reserve line without dipping into reserves,” Heath said. City growth, a state budget deficit and retirement costs are factors that could impact the budget, he said. Councilmember Mike Holmes said he was glad to see the budget balanced and reserves being added to. “I think that is a good sign,” Holmes said. Councilmember Kevin Hanley said despite the balanced budget he has concerns about the projected cost of CALPers retirement funds and health insurance in the coming years. He said CALPers’ projections of the city’s share could be overly optimistic, while health insurance costs could vascillate depending on changes made by the legislature to the healthcare system. “I think it is our responsibility as a city to be real and make sure we have enough to pay these costs,” Hanley said. Reach Sara Seyydin at, or follow her on Twitter @AJ_News.