Serving the community since 1922

$1.5M surplus seen for city budget

Lower than expected labor costs will give the city a surplus in its operating fund this year, the City Council was told Tuesday night.

In reviewing the midyear budget report for 2022-23, it was noted that one reason for the savings came from labor costs in the Shafter Police Department due to vacancies.

There was a request for an increase of $30,000 for costs regarding the closed former correctional facility, including electricity and utilities.. Overall, the city is well within the budget forecasted, with an expected surplus of over $1.5 million for the current year, said Finance Director Rogelio Sanchez. Other than the one adjustment in the budget of $30,000, there were no other recommendations.

In concluding the report, Sanchez said that the labor savings related to the vacancies from the Police Department will allow the current budget to maintain a modest surplus.

The council approved a contract with TJM Enterprises to retain them as advisors and to investigate three areas in Shafter that are needing traffic safety improvements, such as possible stop signs or lights. These areas are Lerdo Highway, between Schneidt and Poplar streets, Tulare Avenue and Highway 43 area, as well as Los Angeles Avenue, Schnaidt and Shafter Avenues. This area, near the site of GROW Academy, is heavily trafficked . Studies have shown that some sort of safety improvements are needed there because of the amount of children using the crosswalks and the amount of vehicle traffic.

In other action, the Shafter City Council recognized members of the Shafter Boxing Club who competed in Independence, Mo., last month in the Silver Gloves Junior National Championships, coming home with five national titles and a top overall award.

Valentina Aguilar, James Rodriguez, Jerikah Argueta, Analyse Deleon and Edgar Martinez, Jr. all won national titles in their weight classes, giving the Shafter Boxing Club the most titles of any one club at the competition.

At the end of the event, the Shafter Boxing Club was awarded the belt for the Top Overall Boxing Club in the nation. This was given to them over numerous clubs from the Los Angeles, Chicago and Milwaukee with many times over larger clubs than the Shafter group.

The council congratulated coach Mike Ayon and his staff of volunteers for their efforts in giving Shafter's youth positive role models and examples of what can be accomplished with teamwork and dedication.


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