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Desert Hot Springs grapples with budget concerns

The City of Desert Hot Springs passed its budget adjustments for the 2024-2025 fiscal year Tuesday night, raising concerns from at least one council member over a potential budget shortfall.

The city's 2024-25 general fund budget includes a proposed revenue of $33,476,437 with proposed expenses of $33,439,739.

"We have $36,698 as a surplus and somebody reading this might think that we have a balanced budget, but we have a balanced budget because we pulled from savings and because of one-time money," according to councilmember Russell Betts.

In June 2022, the City had $13 million in savings. That figure is expected to be roughly $7.5 million in June 2024, after the mid-year budget adjustments.

"I don't see that we're doing what we need to do in this budget to correct that," according to Betts.

The City could see numerous cuts to public safety and quality of life due to "historical funding takeaways by Sacramento, the decline in local cannabis revenue funds, and increased costs to maintain basic services."

Betts presented a motion, which was rejected, that proposed giving residents a chance to review the data and voice their opinions on possible cutbacks.

Further discussions will be had to determine a plan forward and ensure vital services and programs remain funded in the next fiscal year and beyond.

Watch News Channel 3 tonight at 6:00 p.m. for the full report.

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Jennifer Franco

Jennifer Franco is the weekend anchor/weekday reporter for KESQ News Channel 3


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