Chico Budget Windfall Unlikely To Bring Any Major Changes
Facing bankruptcy just a few years ago, Chico suddenly finds itself with $8 million in unspent money. But according to City Manager Mark Orme, it’s doubtful the windfall will bring any substantial differences.
Though the amount is equivalent to 16 percent of the city’s general fund, cuts to city services and departments have been so severe over the years that in terms of unaddressed needs Orme said: “I’ve got a list longer than Santa Claus’ list.”
Fixing the city’s finances was one of the reasons Orme was hired. He notes progress but said his job isn’t done.
“We’ve been successful in attempting to rebuild our reserves, but obviously, we’re still far from doing that,” he said.
Though Orme will create recommendations, elected leaders will make the ultimate decisions. He said public safety and road repair are the most frequent issues raised by residents.
“There are a number of priorities and I know that the city council is going to have a difficult time determining which of those comes first,” Orme said.
Those budgetary hearings will likely occur in March.