The Petaluma City Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve the 2013-2014 fiscal budget — a budget that is balanced, larger than it has been in recent years and which calls for no service, personnel or pay cuts.
This year's general fund, which pays for most city services, salaries and benefits, is projected to be $35 million, a 5.4 percent increase over last year's. Revenues are expected to increase by about $745,000. Two vacant firefighter positions are being restored at a cost of $220,000 and a financial analyst position is being added at $150,000. The budget also calls for paying $1.1 million into a reserve fund the city uses for emergencies, which was nearly depleted during the recession.
City officials were pleased with this year's financial forecast, though City Manager John Brown cautioned the council that while things are looking better, Petaluma is not yet at a point where it can be spending money on new projects.