Additional police, fire, parks staffing funded as well as plans for Castle Park and other needs

After much review and deliberation, the Folsom City Council voted 3-1 Tuesday night to greenlight the fiscal year 2024-25 budget, slated to commence on July 1. 

While the budget for the year to come has countless elements, the highlights that have been of concern for members of the community have included staffing for the Folsom Police Department as well as maintaining a reasonable level of park maintenance, which was facing deep cuts. 


Despite financial constraints, the budget focuses on maintaining essential services and addressing immediate community needs. More than half of the city’s General Fund is allocated to public safety services. The FY 2024-25 budget adds six new positions to the Folsom Police Department to provide homeless outreach and address other safety needs. 

“We face a challenging fiscal environment where expenses are outpacing revenues, and the city is dealing with increasing infrastructure and maintenance demands that lack dedicated funding,” said City Manager Elaine Andersen. “Continued control over expenditures and a focus on core priorities has been and will continue to be critical in delivering high-quality services to our community while remaining fiscally sustainable.”


At the conclusion of Tuesday’s meeting council members found a way to serve both needs in fiscally challenging times. The 3-1 vote came with one opposition and and absence by Mayor Mike Kozlowski.

Police, fire and parks staffing 


The budget includes funding for several new positions across different departments. 


Notably, the Police Department will add one Police Sergeant, one Police Corporal, and four Police Officers. 

One new position will be funded in the new budget, the other three will be funded by salary savings where the police department has averaged more than  $715,000 in salary savings each of the past five years due to vacancies and retirements.


Additionally, the Parks and Public Works departments will see addition to staff with one Park Planner, one Park Maintenance Worker, and two Street Maintenance Workers. 

Furthermore, a new Fire Division Chief role will oversee training efforts.

Utilization of Reserve Funds

City officials disclosed that the current fiscal year is expected to conclude with reserves at 20.9% of General Fund expenditures. 

Consequently, a portion of these reserves, totaling $800,000, will be allocated for the renovation of Kids Play Park, also known as Castle Park. The funds will be used entirely, or a portion thereof, as fundraising efforts are already underway by local citizens, many of which helped build the park originally to fill the gap needed to properly rebuild the iconic park to code.  Should the fundraising efforts be even more successful than predicted, the city’s allocated investment can be reduced according 

Additional one-time expenditures from reserves include the replacement of kitchen equipment, tables, and chairs at the Folsom Community Center; upgrades to malfunctioning doors and the lighting control system at the library; and the replacement of the city’s primary data storage system.

Park Maintenance Concerns: Despite the budget’s approval, concerns linger regarding adequate funding for park and trail maintenance. 

The council addressed these issues by approving $300,000 in one-time funds to maintain current service levels for the upcoming year. This temporary measure aims to mitigate recent cutbacks in landscaping services, ensuring parks and landscaped areas receive necessary upkeep.

Park Improvement Funding

Acknowledging legal constraints imposed by state law, the council highlighted the Park Improvement Fund, financed exclusively by development impact fees. These fees, earmarked for enhancing community parks, are allocated strictly according to the locality where the fees were collected. Projects slated for funding under this program include the construction of Benevento Family Park in Empire Ranch, scheduled to break ground next year, a community garden at McFarland Park in Empire Ranch, and final enhancements to Bud & Artie Davies Park in American River Canyon North.

In light of these allocations and initiatives, the council emphasized its commitment to balancing immediate operational needs with long-term community development goals. The approved budget reflects ongoing efforts to bolster public safety, enhance recreational facilities, and navigate fiscal responsibilities amidst evolving municipal challenges.

The total in the city manager’s original proposed budget, including all funds for fiscal year 2024-25 stood at 247,216,308.  

Throughout Tuesday’s discussion, city council members continually praised city staff for the many countless hours that were spent creating the proposed budget in a time where the city faces fiscal challenges ahead. 

According to the City of Folsom, the new spending plan maintains essential services in a constrained fiscal environment. For the first time in over 20 years, the budget draws from emergency “rainy day” reserves, outside of a recession, to fund high priority needs.

The city’s five-year projection predicts a $5.25 million annual structural deficit by FY 2029-30 that will continue to grow as the cost of delivering services outpaces revenue growth. The city faces a shortfall in many service areas, and it is estimated that at a minimum, an additional $20 million in funding is needed annually to maintain current levels of service to provide public safety, street and infrastructure maintenance, park and facility repairs, equipment maintenance and replacements, trail maintenance and repairs, and associated staffing needs.

Sales tax revenue, one of the city’s core funding sources, is projected to fall short of original estimates by $1.7 million for FY 2023-24. Budget pressures on the expenditure side include but are not limited to labor costs, maintenance of aging infrastructures, equipment, facilities, and amenities, and overall increase in operating costs due to continued high levels of inflation.

The FY 2024-25 budget includes an operating budget for day-to-day city programs and services, and a capital improvement budget that funds long range public construction projects and infrastructure improvements. The majority of the CIP projects come from sources other than the General Fund.

At a glance: Overall highlights of the FY 2024-25 budget include:

Benevento Family Park Phase 1, design and construction
Davies Park improvements, including a ball field, parking lot, and pathways
Folsom Fire Department Division Chief to oversee all department training
Folsom Fire Station 33 planning and design
Folsom Fire Station 34 construction
Folsom/Placerville Trail
Intelligent Transportation System Master Plan
Kids Play Park replacement and renovation 
Mangini Ranch trails
New software systems to improve efficiencies
Orangevale Avenue and Mountain Oak Pump Station Rehabilitation Project
Parks & Recreation Department – one park planner and one maintenance worker position
Prospector Park construction
Public Works Department – two maintenance worker positions
Police Department – six positions
Storm Water Basins Rehabilitation Project
Street resurfacing, sewer, and drainage improvements
Water system flow control facilities rehabilitation and replacement
Water Tower Tank Rehabilitation Project
Water treatment plant system improvements

Projects funded with emergency “rainy day” reserves:

•                  $800,000 for urgent replacements and renovation at Kids Play Park.

•                  $498,000 to replace the failing kitchen equipment, tables, and chairs at the Folsom Community Center.

•                  $80,000 to replace malfunctioning doors and the lighting control system at the Folsom Public Library.

•                  $60,000 for the replacement of the city’s primary data storage system in the Information Systems Department that has reached its end of life.

“For decades, the city has kept a watchful eye on our spending and has prudently saved funds for a rainy day, all while providing the highest level of service to our community. While our current budget funds essential programs and services, we stand at a financial crossroads,” said Mayor Mike Kozlowski. “This financial situation is arguably the biggest challenge facing our city and our community. The City Council’s biggest priority is to fiercely protect our essential services and Folsom’s quality of life. As always, you have our full commitment to transparency and public involvement as we address these challenges together.”

Those wishing to view Tuesday’s budget presentation and breakdown can do so on the city’s website HERE

Watch the entire video of the meeting HERE.