Ontario Approves Balanced Budget for 2016-17
[ecko_quote source=”Jim Bowman, Council Member”]Ontario is committed to enhancing our levels of public services and infrastructure so we are prepared for the future. [/ecko_quote]
Ontario, CA – On Wednesday, June 15, 2016, Ontario’s Mayor and City Council unanimously approved a structurally balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2016-17 during a public Special City Council Meeting.
The total overall budget of $469,372,820, balanced without the use of any one‑time monies, is consistent with the Mayor and City Council’s goals and objectives to continue to preserve public safety levels, meet community and cultural needs, and deliver on critical capital projects.
“The City of Ontario continues to adopt and adhere to conservative fiscal policies, while preserving the needs for services in our community. As we move into the 2016-17 Fiscal Year, our partnership with our labor groups allows us to continue creating a stable and healthy community,” said Mayor Paul S. Leon.
Ontario’s budget document indicates that consumer spending is continuing to show signs of improvement, with further growth in retail and motor vehicles sales, employment, as well as strong gains in the housing market. Sales tax revenue for the fourth quarter of 2015 grew approximately 8% compared to a year ago, due to office equipment and new auto sales being the highest producing sectors. Ontario’s unemployment rate declined to 5.6% and home sales increased approximately 42% as a result of home buyers’ attraction to value obtained in the Inland Empire due to significantly higher home prices in the Los Angeles and Orange County markets.
Maintaining the Current High Level of Public Safety remains a goal for the City Council. The budget for Fiscal Year 2016-17 allocates $1.6 million for replacement of two fire pumpers; $818,000 for the replacement of twenty police vehicles; and $625,000 for the replacement of a fire brush truck. Additionally, funding of $4.7 million is included for additional police officer positions, as well as the purchase of new vehicles and equipment.
Mayor pro Tem Debra Dorst-Porada said, “We continue to provide the highest level of public safety services to our residents and businesses. A total of 27 new police officer positions have now been added in the last twelve months to address the local effects of Prop 47 and AB109. Additionally, in this budget, we earmarked $125,000 to start a new community college scholarship program to ensure that all our high school graduates have opportunities for higher education at little to no cost, which then creates a highly-qualified workforce for our business community.”
“Ontario is committed to enhancing our levels of public services and infrastructure so we are prepared for the future. Jobs are important to our community, which is why we have a strong and proactive economic development strategy that attracts opportunities and provides resources that helps create a prosperous community,” said Council Member Jim W. Bowman.
In addition to the budget, the City Council adopted one primary goal and eight supporting goals to guide City staff and community investments over the next fiscal year. The primary City Council goal remains: Regain Local Control of the Ontario International Airport.
Council Member Alan D. Wapner said, “Ontario is the logistics and transportation hub of the region. Regaining local control of the Ontario International Airport has been a big win not only for the City, but for all of Southern California. The City is committed to working with the Ontario International Airport Authority to manage the transition process of all airport operations to preserve and grow the region’s most important economic and jobs engine.”
Other budget highlights include:
- $9 million for the construction of a high speed fiber optic communication backbone system for the City’s business district, which serves as yet another competitive advantage for companies looking to expand in or relocate to the City.
- $7.1 million for a new Fire Station in the Ontario Ranch area.
- $1.9 million for the rehabilitation of 14 street bridges throughout the City.
- $1 million for various improvements at City facilities including the renovation of restrooms at De Anza Park and monument signage at the Ontario Museum of History & Art.
City Manager Al C. Boling closed the special City Council Meeting by thanking the Mayor and City Council for their visionary leadership and prudent fiscal policy direction and for continuing to support high quality municipal services, maintenance and expansion to meet the needs of the City and reinvestment back into the community for long-term benefits to the residents and businesses that call Ontario home.
For more information about the City of Ontario, please visit www.ontarioca.gov.