Sparks slowly climbing out of fiscal hardships

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Sparks slowly climbing out of fiscal hardships

The City of Sparks is not completely over the financial hardships of recent years, but there are some promising signs. That was one of the themes when Sparks Mayor Genoa Martini gave his State of the City Address on Monday.

Mayor Martini did not gloss over the challenges that Sparks is facing. Even as some tax revenues stabilizes, they're having trouble keeping pace with

"Revenues are not keeping up with expenses, and only likely to increase two to three percent for the next few years. Property tax caps limit property tax revenues, and we're just not seeing much growth in fees from businesses licenses and building permits."

He also warns that payroll and health insurance are major concerns for the city's long term financial stability.

Still, he says they're weathering the storm and expect that overtime the numbers will improve. Money from sales tax, for one, did rise by 6 percent over the same time last year and that should increase. Construction is starting up again. 7 new retailers opened up at the Legends near Sparks Marina.

He says that kind of activity is encouraging for the job market, which is also looking better.

The mayor also voiced his support of the much-debated Southeast Connector project. That's stalled at the moment and will not go forward without federal approval. Finally, Martini remembered Michael Landsberry who was killed in October's shooting at Sparks Middle School.