City Manager’s Update
Brian Dossey, City Manager
I hope everyone managed through the January storms and did not experience any flooding, loss of power or leaky roofs. With that said, we are still in the middle of winter, and we could experience additional wind and rainfall. Once again, it is critically important to be prepared during an emergency or major storm event. It may be a good time to check your emergency kits, back up food and water supply to see if they need to be replenished. Don’t forget back up batteries too for lanterns and flashlights. Finally, if you haven’t already done so, please sign up and register for SMC Alerts at https://www.smcgov.org/ceo/smc-alert. SMC alerts provide San Mateo County residents with real time information during an emergency.
In 2020 the City Council adopted the 2020-2022 Strategic Plan and each year the City Council reviews the Plan with staff ensuring goals and priority programs are met. Areas of study and review include; Resiliency, Operations, Economic Development, Community and Capital Programs. In 2022 staff was very successful in forwarding the programs and activities that were outlined in the Strategic Plan. For example, staff completed the implementation of the Body Worn Camera program in the Police Department improving transparency; Closed out the last remaining programs from the Town’s 2012 Economic Development Plan; City Council adopted the sewer enterprise fund creating a revenue stream for future sewer capital improvement projects; staff completed the 300 block of the F Street roadway and F Street Wall projects; staff also met our SB 1383 sustainability goal by partnering with the cemetery community and providing renewable energy in the form of organic compost; and welcomed back the Adult Holiday Event this past December.
On March 2, the City Council and staff will host a Strategic Plan workshop developing the Town’s 2023 – 2025 Strategic Plan. Staff will continue to focus on goals surrounding Resiliency, Operations, Economic Development, Community, Capital Programs and Economic Development. We hope you can join us at the Strategic Plan workshop to hear your ideas for the future of Colma. If you would like to learn more on the Strategic Plan, please attend the March 2, 2023 City Council Meeting at 5:00pm or visit https://www.colma.ca.gov/strategic-plan/.
COVID-19 and Its Impact on the Town’s Finances
Pak Lin, Administrative Services Director
The first positive COVID-19 case came to the Bay Area in March 2020. Like many neighboring agencies and businesses, the Town experienced severe impacts due to the pandemic. As we are reaching the third anniversary, how did the Town fare? Did we survive? Did we recover?
The first year of COVID was filled with many uncertainties. From March 2020 through September 2020, the Town saw a $3.2 million reduction in sales tax and cardroom tax revenues. The dramatic General Fund revenue decrease was due to the sudden and complete shutdown of local business operations. As California reopened, the Town’s sales and cardroom tax revenues were restored. By the fourth quarter of Fiscal Year 2021, the cardroom was in full operation, and the tax revenues were back to pre-COVID trends, ending the Fiscal Year 2022 at $4.3 million.
Sales tax revenue restoration included other factors besides businesses reopening. As businesses reopened, the Town saw an increase in auto sales. Additionally, the Nation faced inflation due to supply chain issues. The combination of increased sales and supply shortage resulted in an increase in sales tax revenues. In Fiscal Year 2021, The Town received $13.6 million in sales tax revenues, and $13.9 million in Fiscal Year 2022. The Town historically received $12.1 million in sales tax revenues.
With the foresight of the City Council, General Fund Surplus in FY 2021 was transferred to the Town’s budget stabilization and capital funds. FY 2022 General Fund Surplus will also be transferred the same way to prepare for future obligations. Thanks to the City Council’s commitment to building the capital reserve, the Town is able to satisfy the grant matching requirements and secure large State and County grants.
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