Santa Clarita holds hear­ing for bud­get

City re­views pro­jected rev­enues, ex­penses for 2018-19 plan ahead of June 26 City Coun­cil meet­ing

The Signal - - NEWS - By Crys­tal Duan Sig­nal Staff Writer cd­uan@sig­nalscv.com

The Santa Clarita City Coun­cil held a public hear­ing for its bud­get for the next fis­cal year Tues­day. The bud­get, bal­anced and on time, is up for adop­tion at the next coun­cil meet­ing on June 26. If approved, it would then go into ef­fect July 1.

The $203 mil­lion bud­get for the 2018-19 fis­cal year in­cludes a pro­jected $110.8 mil­lion in gen­eral fund rev­enues, with the gen­eral fund’s bud­geted ex­pen­di­tures at $110.4 mil­lion, said Jer­rid McKenna, as­sis­tant to the city man­ager.

The new bud­get rep­re­sents a spend­ing in­crease of 2.6 per­cent, or about $5.2 mil­lion more than the cur­rent bud­get, ac­cord­ing to city doc­u­ments.

An­tic­i­pated avail­able money for ex­pen­di­tures has gone up $7.1 mil­lion from last year. Of this fund, 23 per­cent will be spent on public safety, ac­cord­ing to city doc­u­ments.

Public safety is still grow­ing when com­pared to the cur­rent fis­cal year’s adopted bud­get. For the next fis­cal year, $25.8 mil­lion will be spent, com­pared to the cur­rent fis­cal year’s bud­get of $24.7 mil­lion.

Fac­tors for the bud­get’s in­creases or de­creases in fund­ing in­clude in­fla­tion, Con­sumer Price In­dex, cost of liv­ing ad­just­ments and in­creases to base bud­gets, in­clud­ing some staffing, McKenna said.

The next year’s bud­get will have a 3 per­cent in­crease in per­son­nel ser­vices, com­pris­ing 29 per­cent of the bud­get, as the city adds more po­si­tions this year af­ter not adding sig­nif­i­cant staffing since the last re­ces­sion, McKenna said.

Ad­min­is­tra­tive ser­vices will go from $7 mil­lion for 2017-18 to $7.5 mil­lion for 2018-19.

Part of the driv­ing force be­hind the bud­get is tak­ing into ac­count long-term goals.

“Much of the bud­get doc­u­ment is sup­ported by the strate­gic plan, Santa Clarita 2020, to get our city where it needs to be by 2020,” McKenna said. “That plan stream­lines the bud­get process to en­sure all the projects, pro­grams and ser­vices are funded and com­pleted on time.”

The city has prac­tices in place, such as a mid-year as­sess­ment that hap­pens around De­cem­ber, to en­sure its bud­get stays bal­anced and ex­penses don’t go over es­ti­ma­tions, McKenna said.

The city bud­geted $28.7 mil­lion for its Cap­i­tal Im­prove­ment Pro­gram, which looks at the com­mu­nity’s needs for ma­jor on­go­ing projects and fac­tors into the city’s five-year plan, Santa Clarita 2020. The pro­gram’s bud­get is about $5 mil­lion less than the cur­rent al­lo­ca­tion. How­ever, the city an­tic­i­pates ad­di­tional fund­ing for projects, such as the con­struc­tion con­tract for the new 46,000-square-foot sher­iff’s sta­tion on Golden Val­ley Road.

The five-year Santa Clarita 2020 plan also approves projects in var­i­ous phases of com­ple­tion, such as a new se­nior cen­ter, the $1.1 mil­lion Via Princessa Park Cross­ing de­sign, a fourth li­brary in Sau­gus and a new Canyon Coun­try Com­mu­nity Cen­ter.

Re­place­ment of tran­sit buses will also to­tal $4.1 mil­lion for the new fis­cal year.

The city also plans to use $2.3 mil­lion for phase seven of im­ple­ment­ing In­tel­li­gent Trans­porta­tion Sys­tems, a new tech­nol­ogy to mon­i­tor traf­fic cir­cu­la­tion.

The city has been proac­tive about ad­dress­ing grant op­por­tu­ni­ties, re­mained fis­cally con­ser­va­tive and kept debt ra­tios very low, City Man­ager Ken Striplin said at the meet­ing.

Cour­tesy photo

The city of Santa Clarita shared the pie chart above, which ex­plains its spend­ing plan for 2018-19.

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