HESPERIA • The city is doing better financially than over the past few years, according to officials, but it still has to deal the fallout of the state's and county's ongoing economic woes.
Hesperia general fund revenue is up thanks to a "dramatic increase" in sales tax revenue, Assistant City Manager Brian Johnson said at a budget workshop held Tuesday. General fund revenue is estimated to grow 6 percent next year, from $20.7 million to $21.3 million.
Johnson estimates sales tax revenue will grow 30 percent next year, from $7.5 million to $8.5 million, thanks to gas revenue and new businesses opening in the city.
But Gov. Jerry Brown shutting down the state's redevelopment agency system has put the general fund in the red, Johnson said, with an $11 million gap having to be covered by cash reserves, according to Johnson. Officials expect overall revenue to be down in 2012-13 (the fiscal year begins July 1), dropping to $91.6 million versus $100.3 million last year. Meanwhile, expenditures are up: $121 million versus $117 million for the year just ending.
But the controversial closure of a fire station and cutting nine firefighters from the Hesperia Fire District rolls has paid off: The formerly broke district now has 9 percent of its expenditures in reserves, or $737,557. Officials had hoped to bring back three firefighters, but the cost per firefighter has continued to rise at the county level.
Hesperia will be adding three deputies to the city's police force, cutting one sergeant to do so. The changes will bring Hesperia's sworn deputies to 45.
Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at Beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.