On June 21, the Napa City Council unanimously voted to adopt the City’s balanced $110.8 million general fund budget for the upcoming 2022-2023 fiscal year.
“The City Council and City staff have worked meticulously to ensure we can deliver a balanced and reasonable budget for the upcoming fiscal year,” said Mayor Scott Sedgley. “We are confident this budget will allow us to use our City’s funds responsibly and effectively to keep delivering high-quality services for our residents, as well as make progress on the City Council’s top priorities, including stabilizing the City’s workforce, focusing on homelessness and housing, and addressing climate change.”
The adopted budget reflects an increase in the City’s General Fund revenue, which is estimated to meet or exceed pre-pandemic levels from 2019. Many of Napa’s revenue streams, including its sales tax, transient occupancy tax, business license tax, license and permit fees, as well as other revenues like park rentals, have begun to recover from the pandemic and rebounded faster than the City anticipated.
The City of Napa has been carefully monitoring its financial situation since the beginning of 2020, when the effects of the pandemic were first felt. Through the help of one-time grants, federal and state funding, careful planning and the diligent efforts of City staff, Napa continues to be on the road to financial recovery. However, the rising cost of inflation, utilities rates, salaries and supplies leaves the City’s expenditures 6.5% higher than the previous fiscal year.
As the money going out continues to exceed the money coming in, the City’s adopted budget includes $4 million in one-time funds to balance the budget and ensure there is available surplus for unforeseen expenses.
“While we are fortunate the City’s revenues are recovering more quickly from the pandemic than our previous projections, forming a viable and balanced budget for this fiscal year was still difficult. I am grateful to our entire staff for their dedication in keeping their budgets flat while addressing the city’s most critical priorities,” said City Manager Steve Potter. “However, we are cautiously optimistic about the City of Napa’s financial forecast and eager to implement what we have planned for this fiscal year.”
Despite some budgetary restrictions, Napa’s approved budget will allow the City to unfreeze 17 full-time positions and add seven employees, including the long-vacant Parks and Recreation Services Director position. During the pandemic, Napa chose to keep many vacant positions open to lower its expenditures, and the City is now working to fill those vacancies. For the last two years, City staff has been asked to maintain services, with fewer staff available. Adding these additional staff will allow the City to work more efficiently and creatively in the coming years.
In alignment with the City Council’s Fiscal Year priorities, this budget dedicates additional resources focused on housing, homelessness services and climate change. After adding a staff member last year dedicated to these matters, an internal reorganization and the addition of another position this coming fiscal year will allow Napa to focus on climate change and housing initiatives. The new budget also adds $100,000 for homeless encampment clean-up efforts and additional funds for shelter support services.
After the City Council declared the climate crisis as an emergency earlier this year, the City has also recommended adding staffing resources to create a climate change response blueprint while simultaneously adding more electric and hybrid vehicles to the City’s fleet.
The 2022-23 Fiscal Year’s budget also includes $41.6 million for a number of projects included in the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), focusing on finishing projects that have been started or maintaining existing infrastructure. This funding will help address necessary storm drain infrastructure needs, street improvements, public facility and park upgrades, ADA barrier removals and public art. The CIP also dedicated an additional $3.5 million for engineering work to advance the Silverado-Third-Coombsville-East Intersection improvement project and another $3.5 million for paving improvements for Browns Valley Road, among other street improvement plans.
On top of all those ongoing projects, Napa also anticipates adopting and implementing both its General Plan, its long-term strategic planning document through 2040, and its Housing Element, which helps address the City’s housing needs, this fiscal year.
For more information about the budget, visit https://www.cityofnapa.org/154/Budgets-Financial-Reports.