FREMONT — The City Council has approved a $134.5 million general fund budget for 2010-11 that exhausts the city's rainy day reserve fund and likely will shutter City Hall for the last two weeks of December — but involves no layoffs or long-term service cuts.
The budget, approved without debate Tuesday, is predicated on extracting $1.8 million in concessions from city workers.
Although negotiations are ongoing, the most likely scenario involves requiring all city workers to take the equivalent of six furlough days. Union leaders have expressed a preference for concentrating the unpaid leave around the last two weeks of December, during which time employees already are granted four paid vacation days, deputy city manager Melissa Stevenson Dile said.
Police officers and firefighters would have to stagger their unpaid leave throughout the year.
Since the recession began, Fremont has shed abut 8 percent of its work force and used up most of its $19.6 million rainy day fund.
The city still has more than $18 million in reserves set aside for a natural disaster and economic development opportunities.
Last year, city unions approved contracts that provided no raises over two years — marking the first time city workers went without cost-of-living increases since 1993.
After dropping by an estimated 9.4 percent this fiscal year, sales tax revenue is forecast to rebound slightly during the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.
However, property taxes, which make up about half of the city's operating budget, are expected to drop slightly.
Contact Matthew Artz at 510-353-7002. For more Fremont news, read his blog: www.ibabuzz.com/tricitybeat.