State of the City Address: Reno's Report Card - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

State of the City Address: Reno's Report Card

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Today (Wednesday), officials with the City of Reno laid out their goals for the next 12 months in their State of the City Address. They turned a new page with the beginning of the fiscal year, which began July 1st.

According to Reno City Manager Andrew Clinger, the city's finances are still low. He told those assembled at Reno City Hall, "Reserve levels remain at a minimum and unfunded liabilities remain a risk to future city budgets. Controlling the costs of retiree health care, increasing our ending fund balance and funding capital maintenance is our fiscal priority."

All of it unfunded, but at least the darkest days are over. Clinger offered what he hopes is the final goodbye to the recession: "Local property values are stabilizing and our economy is showing signs of vitality. Unemployment rates are steadily dropping. Building permits are on the rise."

What's ahead now? The city is staying lean. The new budget is $35 million less than it was 5 years ago…they're spending less now than they did in 2006. There's still a freeze on new vehicles, and hiring new employees. Those who were laid off will not be called back. Clinger told us he's "Not expecting that we're going to get staff back. The post-layoff city staff level is the new normal moving forward."

The words we heard repeated at the State of the City? "Streamlining," "smaller," "more efficient," "right sizing," "holding the line." For this, his 2nd to last State of the City Address due to term limits, Reno Mayor Bob Cashell recognized the new normal too. As he said before introducing Clinger, "We are coming into a new era at the City of Reno. We can't keep doing things the way we've done them in the past, we have to change."

Despite persistent challenging times, there are no tax increases in the new city budget, which took effect July 1st. But times will still be tight…they don't project any growth in property tax revenues. They're hoping consumers pick up the slack and spend as they have been recently to bring more sales tax revenue in.

-written by John Potter

We have a link to the city's full fiscal year report that was released today, including a breakdown of city revenues and expenditures. To read the report and the new budget, click below:

http://reno.gov/index.aspx?page=2380

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