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Here's how a potential $66 million Sacramento budget deficit could impact city

Sacramento is facing a $66 million budget defcit. Here's what that could mean
Sacramento is facing a $66 million budget defcit. Here's what that could mean 02:19

Sacramento community leaders are bracing for what a new $66 million budget deficit could mean for their neighborhoods. 

Keeping the lights on and the doors open at teen centers in the Gardenland Northgate neighborhood is one of Marbella Sala's top priorities in the face of the looming city cuts.

"Everything is on the table for reduction but also no new investment," Sala said. 

Sala is the president of the Gardenland Northgate Neighborhood Association. She is also concerned some city funding for a new Taco Plaza on Northgate Boulevard may also be delayed.

"To have that delayed for two years, three years, that would not be good for our community," Sala said.

The Sacramento city manager is now forecasting a deficit of $66 million in the next fiscal year, with that deficit growing into the hundreds of millions of dollars in the years after that.

All eleven city-recognized unions reached new labor agreements in the past year. The city manager reports that those labor costs are part of the reason for the new deficit.

"Disappointed," Craig Powell said. "Not the least bit surprised."

Powell is the publisher of city hall Eye on Sacramento. He says the next step will likely be re-negotiated labor agreements and if not, possible layoffs.

"And the effect on public services is going to be largely determined on whether the unions agree to take back the wage hikes rather than take the layoffs," Powell said.

The Sacramento Parks Department has already reported that a lack of funding is forcing it to delay preventative maintenance. In January, the city manager announced a freeze on hiring, travel and office supplies.

"We're not sure about whether we're going to have the monies for all of that," Sala said.

Ultimately, this deficit will have to be balanced by the new fiscal year, which begins July 1.

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