Unfilled positions keep the city in the black, at least for now | NevadaAppeal.com

Unfilled positions keep the city in the black, at least for now

Terri Harber
Appeal Staff Writer

The first short-term report about Carson City finances this fiscal year shows the budget more than $68,000 in the black because of jobs going unfilled and some higher-than-anticipated revenue sources.

Lackluster sales tax results for many Nevada communities, including Carson, however, will change this once the new totals are figured in, City Manager Linda Ritter warned.

Carson City’s sales tax revenue of $78.1 million in May was down by 10 percent compared to May 2006, according to the state Department of Taxation.

“The news came out (Wednesday) afternoon,” she said. “It’ll be reflected in the next monthly report.”

City officials have been looking for ways to cut the $117.6 million budget by at least $600,000 during the fiscal year.

For example, the city hasn’t hired people for positions in a variety of departments and likely won’t during this fiscal year, which began July 1. Many of these jobs weren’t filled as they came open during the previous budget cycle: Four management positions in the sheriff’s department; four jobs in parks and recreation; three positions in public works; and one job each in the court, administration and treasurer-assessor offices.

Public works also has left three part-time openings unfilled.

“Good things are on the horizon,” Supervisor Robin Williamson emphasized. For example, she said, “the Wal-Mart building has a new tenant.”

Total reduction in spending throughout the city has amounted to slightly more than $304,000, according to Ritter.

“We’re still looking for ways to come up with savings,” Ritter said. “When you pass a budget that has an operating deficit, you have to show what progress is being made.”

Other budget-watching tools will include keeping weekly track of position requests by departments heads and “re-deploying resources,” Ritter said. “What do we really need to provide services for Carson City? Is there another way?”

Another point of interest is what and how much help some local groups receive. For example, Retired Senior Volunteer Program, Community Council On Youth and Nevada Hispanic Services have all consented to use city-controlled office space to help curb costs.

“The space for RSVP was in lieu of the cash they were paying for their old space,” Ritter said.

These financial reports will be provided to the supervisors each month.

In other business, the supervisors:

• Approved changes to the city code to allow mixed-use zoning downtown.

• OK’d including the old K-mart building and North Town Shopping Plaza into the southside redevelopment area.

• Approved moving funds from the share of money for the joint-use recreation center to the Carson City Fairgrounds Project and Ronald D. Wilson Memorial Park.

• Agreed to a settlement of $40,000 with Michael Hohl Honda-Subaru after construction of water detention basins in January 2004 near the auto dealership caused more than $800,000 damage to Hohl’s property.

• Contact reporter Terri Harber at tharber @nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111, ext. 215.