The city of Atwater finances are a mess. One fund has been leveraged and borrowed to pay for another. Decrypting the books has been an arduous task for city staff, and to help the city council and public make sense of it all, the Finance Director has been presenting the budget in pieces.

On Monday, he detailed the condition of the sanitation fund, which is operating at a $2 million deficit and has borrowed money from both the city’s sewer and water funds.

The city has been desperately searching for ways to cut costs. The city council no longer receives health benefits, is reviewing its car allowances, has cut city hall hours and decreased electricity usage. The police officers reached a deal with the city that avoided layoffs while providing $200,000 in savings. But the city is still trying to close the last $1.4 million deficit.

From the Merced Sun-Star:

Facing decreasing revenues, a $1.4 million general fund deficit and dwindling reserves, city officials continued to piece through the budget during Monday night’s City Council meeting.

Finance Director Glen Carrington has been presenting the 2011-12 fiscal year budget in phases because of the city’s complex financial situation.

Carrington detailed the sanitation fund Monday, which is running at a deficit of about $2 million.

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