San Ramon City Council will hold a special meeting at 5 p.m. Tuesday, ahead of its usual meeting to address its budget.
The budget is expected to be tight until 2018, according to a document presented to City Council last month, along with a list that would shave more than $5 million from the city's budget.
At a recent meeting, staff presented a list of 118 items that could be cut from the budget, ranging from the large -- $200,000 in earthquake insurance that's been dubbed "optional" to the small -- $150 a year for newspapers.
That list totals more than $5.3 million, 10 percent from each department, but City Manager Greg Rogers said City Council will have to decide how much it wants to cut and whether, for example, to cut radically in one sweep or to ease into the cuts gradually.
The city is looking at other options as well, including bringing in new revenue. Without cuts or additional revenue, next year the draw down of reserves nearly doubles, climbing to $3.6 million.
San Ramon spent $1.9 million more than it's expected to bring in during the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. Revenues were $49.2 million, and expenditures were $51.5 million, with an additional draw down of $500,000 for health care.
The trend of drawing on the city's reserves is predicted to continue through June 30, 2018, with the city's deficit peaking in the 2014/15 fiscal year. San Ramon's deficit will hit $4.7 million that year, which includes another half-million dollars for health care and $1.5 million to pay down bond debt.
Without changes, San Ramon's reserves will drop to about $10.9 million by the 2017/18 fiscal year, according to the report presented to City Council. In the 2011/12 fiscal year, it was at $33.5 million and has since dropped $2 million to $31.5 million, a trend that's expected to continue for the next five years.
Sales tax is down about $500,000 from a peak of $9 million in 2008/09 to $8.5 million in the current fiscal year. That's up from 2009/10, when sales tax revenue fell to $6.7 million during the recession. It's been steadily climbing since, and is predicted to hit $10.1 million by 2017/18.
Investment income has also dropped, from an average of about $2 million a year between the 2006/07 and the 2008/09 fiscal years. For the last few years, San Ramon has brought in about $100,000 annually from investments.
The special meting will be held at City Council Chambers, 2226 Camino Ramon. The regular meeting will follow at 7 p.m.