Four Grover Beach city employees plan to retire and six more employees face layoffs as city officials work to balance next year’s budget.
The Grover Beach City Council tonight will discuss and give feedback on a plan that aims to reduce an estimated $800,000 shortfall in the fiscal year starting July 1 —about 10 percent of the total budget.
The council has already endorsed eliminating some positions, which, along with restructuring some departments, is expected to save about $350,000.
The council will consider its draft budget in June.
If the layoffs and retirements move ahead as planned, Grover Beach will have 49 full-time employees and a handful of part-time staff members. Its municipal workforce remains the smallest among the county’s seven cities.
“It’s a great organization, and modifying it in this way is always difficult,” City Manager Bob Perrault said. However, he added, once the city cuts its general fund expenditures to about $6.8 million — down from $8 million just three years ago — the city’s spending will roughly match its revenues.
“We’ll be able to sustain at that level for the next three to four years, and with that we’ll be a much more efficient organization,” he said. “And we’ll be able to build from there.”
Four employees plan to retire: a police lieutenant, a police sergeant, the public works superintendent and a maintenance worker, Perrault said.
Two full-time and three part-time positions would be eliminated as of July 1: a full-time account clerk and an administrative secretary, two part-time staff assistants and a part-time recreation specialist (one staff assistant job has already been cut).
The council in March approved moving ahead with layoffs but could direct staff to reconsider which specific positions are being cut, Perrault said.
Also, the Parks and Recreation Department would be combined with the Community Development Department, and the parks director would take on additional marketing responsibilities.
City officials plan to ask employees to continue unpaid furloughs and salary reductions, which this year amount to 8.5 percent to 10 percent pay cuts. This could save an estimated $228,000.
The city also continues to work toward the sale of a piece of city-owned property now used as a community garden.
Officials will try to strengthen the city’s economic base by moving ahead with plans for an oceanfront lodge and conference center, establishing a citywide broadband network and maintaining a marketing program to promote the city and business opportunities.
The council will consider other goals for each city department for the next fiscal year. Those goals include maintaining staffing levels in the police department, completing a low-income housing project at South 10th Street and Farroll Road, and reviewing the short- and long-term strategy for street improvements.
Reach Cynthia Lambert at 781-7929. Stay updated by following @SouthCountyBeat on Twitter.