The City Council of Cathedral City unanimously approved and adopted the biennial budget (fiscal year (FY) 2023-2024 and 2024-2025) at the regular meeting on Wednesday, May 24, 2023. The biennial budget addresses the priorities of the community while generating revenues that meet city expenditures. It also focuses on the City’s newly published Five-Year Strategic Plan, which was approved at the regular meeting on Wednesday, April 13, 2023.
For FY 2023-2024, the City’s General Fund forecasted budgeted revenues are $67,007,499 and budgeted expenditures are $69,679,551. The net deficit is $2,672,052, which includes $6,742,656 in discretionary expenditures, resulting in a structurally balanced budget. For FY 2024-2025, the City’s General Fund forecasted budgeted revenues are $64,600,726 and budgeted expenditures are $70,425,395. The net deficit is $5,824,669, which includes $5,849,030 in discretionary expenditures, resulting in a structurally balanced budget.
During the past ten years, FY 2012-2013 through FY 2021-2022, the City has been able to stabilize and achieve not only balanced budgets but has also been able to grow our Fund Balance, which resembles a “savings account” for Cathedral City. To the extent the unassigned fund balance is positive, the City may draw upon the fund balance to provide cash financing for capital projects or other one-time purchases.
Staff developed the City’s biennial budget after six months of preparation, reviews, and discussions, with a primary focus to accomplish City Council strategic plans and corresponding goals established at the City’s Strategic/Goal Planning Session in January 2023. Departments reviewed past accomplishments and developed objectives focusing on achieving these overarching Council strategies and goals:
- Serving the Community with Pride and Dedication
- Community Investment
- Fiscal Stability and Sustainability
- Embracing, Inclusive City
“I want to thank the City Council, City staff, and Kevin Biersack, our Financial Services Director, for helping us adopt a budget that invests in high-quality city services, enhances our ongoing public safety commitment, and provides additional resources to fund homelessness, code enforcement, and street and infrastructure improvements,” said City Manager Charlie McClendon. “We feel these investments, along with our 5-Year Strategic Plan, will help us continue to attract new businesses and residents, and strengthen Cathedral City’s financial position for years to come.”
Significant General Fund Items
- Maintenance of Effort (MOE) match for RMRA (SB 1) Funds
- Streets: $2.03M (FY 2023-2024); $900K (FY 2024-2025)
- Parks: $380K (FY 2023-2024); $590K (FY 2024-2025)
- Fleet Replacement Annual Allocation
- $837K (FY 2023-2024) and $686K (FY 2024-2025)
- $365,000 (FY 2023-2024) and $390,000 (FY 2024-2025) in community organizations, including the Boys & Girls Club of Cathedral City; the Cathedral City Senior Center; and the Coachella Valley Association of Government’s (CVAG) Housing First Program and the Coachella Valley Rescue Mission, of which both focus on homeless outreach.
- 4.5 additional full-time equivalent (FTE) positions: Economic Development Analyst, Grants Analyst/Coordinator, Environmental Conservation Analyst, Fire Marshall (20 hours per week) and Deputy Fire Chief.
Capital Improvement Project (CIP) Plan
The Five-Year Capital Improvement Project (CIP) Plan is another integral part of the City’s long-range financial planning. Significant nonrecurring capital expenditures shown in the CIP Plan for the next two-year budget period include:
- Dream Homes Park ($2,588,533 in FY 2023-2024 and $5,177,106 in FY 2024-2025) which sits on 7.75 acres and includes various leisure activities and walking paths.
- Date Palm Drive Pavement Rehabilitation Project ($5,000,000) – This project will rehabilitate Date Palm Drive from Ramon Road to Gerald Ford Drive and includes the reconstruction of the Date Palm Drive/30th
- HSIP 10 – Ramon and Avenida La Paloma will provide pedestrian safety improvements.
- The widening and undergrounding of utilities on East Palm Canyon ($80,000 in FY 2023-2024 and $1,500,000 in FY 2024-2025).
With any budget, whether at work or home, there is always more need than available resources. This financial plan adopted by the City Council keeps Cathedral City moving forward in a prudent manner while addressing the priorities most raised by our residents, businesses, and seasonal visitors. For more information about the biennial budget, please visit www.cathedralcity.gov/services/finance.