Back in the black

City’s finances improved, pensions still burdensome

The city’s financial situation has improved from two years ago, according to a report to the Chico City Council on Tuesday (Jan. 19). However, the cost of employee pensions will be a heavy burden in the future, said Administrative Services Director Frank Fields.

As of June 30, 2015, the city’s general fund balance was $4.2 million, according to the report. On the same date in 2013, the general fund had a deficit of $7.7 million. While that progress is encouraging, Fields said, the city has no reserves and must budget conservatively—especially considering the city’s “net pension liability.”

Noting the scenario is unlikely, if every city employee retired now, the city would have to pay out $100 million, Fields said, including $46.5 million toward public safety employees alone.