With its finances teetering back into the red, city officials are implementing several measures to keep its budget balanced.

Slowing property and sales tax revenue is forcing the city to implement a selective hiring freeze, delay allocating $2 million toward the Downtown/Capitol Avenue redevelopment plan and institute accounting changes to keep money in its general fund.

Without the cost-saving measures, officials said, the city would have faced a budget shortfall this fiscal year and the loss of its entire $11.2 million rainy day reserve fund by the end of next fiscal year.

Despite the budget crunch, Fremont's finances still are in much better shape than during the dot-com bust when it eliminated more than 200 positions and cut a fifth of its budget, officials said.

The city has no plans to reinstitute rotating fire station brownouts, and already has filled 10 vacant firefighter positions and seven police officer positions. "I don't see any dramatic (service) changes," City Manager Fred Diaz said.

Police Chief Craig Steckler said he has been asked to trim his budget by

1 percent this year, which could force him not to fill police officer positions that become vacant.

Whether the city has to initiate more cuts could depend on the state, which, facing its own $14 billion shortfall, could choose to hold on to sales tax revenue usually passed along to cities.

The city's next budget update, which could include additional