City Hall’s finances improving
The Paso Robles City Council received a review of its current finances and a financial forecast Tuesday night. The forecast estimates city government revenues and operating costs for each of the next five fiscal years. While the city suffered significant revenue losses during the Great Recession, generally, the outlook is improving, according to City Manager Jim App.
Positive signs for City Hall
- Reserves are fully repaid,
- Public services have stabilized,
- Major road repairs kick off this summer,
- A recycled water master plan is nearly complete,
- The wastewater treatment plant is under construction,
- Revenue is recovering (and should reach 2007 levels in 2016),
- Construction of the Nacimiento water treatment plant starts this Spring, &
- City transit service is being consolidated with the regional transit system to improve service.
Positive signs for the local economy
- County’s economy is seeing solid economic growth due to growing tourism, agriculture and energy projects
- Unemployment rate for Paso Robles has dropped to 6.7% in December 2013.
- SLO County is one of only four counties to replace same number of jobs lost during the recession
- Housing market is no longer in decline; industrial/commercial is growing.
- Housing prices expected to slow to a 5% to 7% annual increase
- Retail sales are improving, but slowly.
Risks to the city forecast including some external factors
- Possible additional and significant Cal PERS rate changes
- Slow and fragile pace of economic recovery
- Drought impacts
- Potential litigation
- Water will become more expensive