The Shafter Press - Serving the community since 1922

By Michael Schroeder
The Shafter Press 

$34M city budget approved


The Shafter City Council has approved an operating budget of slightly more than $34 million for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

While this is an increase over the projected $27.8 million to be spent this year, it won’t mean additional taxes for area residents, according to City Manager Scott Hurlbert.

He explained that additional expenses – such as a proposed $2.5 million overhaul of the municipal aquatic center and $4 million for the new Public Works property – have been planned well in advance.

Another factor: The city carries minimal debt, electing to pay “as you go” rather than take the extra interest in bonding capital projects.

There is an expectation that the city will spend more next year on capital projects, such as landscaping and street repair, that have in recent years have had very tight budgets.

“It’s a case of shifting priorities,” Hurlbert said.

Currently, the city has approximately a year of reserves that could be tapped in case of a real downtown – perhaps the best fiscal situation of any city in the state, and certainly in the county, Hurlbert said. There are also additional funds that could be used in an emergency without


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