comments

Officials seize on $1.1 million in savings

Swim lessons eliminated, restructuring saves money
By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald Correspondent
-A +A

In an effort to shore up the budget in the face of the lagging great recession, the city of Rocklin is now implementing a series of serious cost-savings measures and reorganization plans that are expected to save the city approximately $1.1 million.
City Manager Rick Horst said he hopes the new staff-generated ideas would give the city’s strained budget some breathing room, while maintaining services that taxpayers’ want.
“Government has a hard time changing, as a whole,” Horst said during last Friday’s budget hearing. “We need to lay the foundation for an economic revival.”
Horst added that the list of cost-savings measures is just the beginning.
Recreation & Parks
In order to save about $100,000, the city will stop offering swim lessons. After Aug. 12, the summer aquatic programs at the Rocklin High School pool will end.
“We’ve been subsidizing swim lessons,” Rocklin Director of Parks and Recreation Gordon Holt said. “We’re losing money on it.”
Holt admits there has been competition from Roseville’s indoor pool and other area facilities. The closure will not have an impact on the Rocklin Unified School District’s aquatics programs, reports Superintendent Kevin Brown.
To provide greater efficiency, the city is now planning to close the Fifth Street pre-school site located at Johnson Springview Park after Aug 5 for a projected savings of $70,000.
“There will be no loss in the number of students served,” Horst said.
The program will continue at the three other sites on Rocklin Unified campuses, according to Holt.
“So we’re going from four partially-filled locations to three full sites,” Holt said.
They also gain another $100,000 by eliminating the after-school teen program at middle schools. Those programs will end on June 11.
“Participation levels (in the Station Extreme program) have dropped dramatically,” Horst said.
The demand for the city’s other teen programs — operating camps, summer trips and dances — is robust. Those programs are expected to continue, Holt said.
Police Department
A command structure change instituted last month by Police Chief Ron Lawrence is expected to save $26,368 in salaries.
The department will also cut back on $6,500 in promotional items, $5,000 in cell phone costs and reduce $11,900 in contingency funds and money used for consultant costs by $3,000.
“It’s government right-sizing applied,” Horst said.
The department will also lease patrol cars instead of buying them at a savings of $50,000 over five years, Horst said.
The city also found a way to mount laptops in patrol cars, which will also save money.

“By working to eliminate a concern for airbag deployment, mounting systems originally requiring a trunk mount system is no longer necessary — resulting in a savings of $16,000,” Horst said.
They have also worked out a deal to acquire surplus equipment from state law enforcement agencies.
“Procurement of ballistic door panels for patrol cars, at no cost, from the California Highway Patrol (saved) $2,400 per car - $60,000 acquisition,” Horst said.
Fire Department
Rocklin’s Fire Department also saved up to $53,000 by restructuring and succession planning.
“Community Development has authorized the use of building inspectors to assist with fire safety inspections in support of fire operations,” Horst said. “This is a great example of employee cross-training and utilization of resources.”
Fleet Department
The city used to maintain an $80,000 inventory of parts, but will now sell it in favor of supporting local merchants, who will maintain their own inventory.
“Buying local keeps our tax dollars local and supports the growth and expansion of Rocklin businesses,” Horst said.
A mechanic is now assigned to the Police Department headquarters to perform minor repairs on patrol cars.
“Fleet support (is) now being provided at each fire station weekly, preventing the need to pull fire (trucks) off the line and moving equipment and manpower out of their designated zones,” Horst said. “We have to think outside of the box.”
City Hall
Horst also consolidated the city’s printer and copiers to the tune of $30,000 in savings, he said.
Attrition, including the position of assistant city manager vacated by retiring Mark Riemer, has eliminated $214,465 in salary, according to Horst.
The city also plans to close and remove portable buildings located behind City Hall, saving between $6,000 and $10,000 on utilities, maintenance and IT support.
Horst said more efficiency measures are in the works as staff map their own processes.