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Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Council Studies Recommendations for Budget by Its A/F Subcommittee

BY BILL KOENEKER

The Malibu City Council had a second look at the proposed budget for fiscal year 2011-2012 at its meeting last week when members were able to learn the recommendations of its Administration and Finance Subcommittee.
As is the usual case, the A&F panel comprised of Mayor John Sibert and Councilmember Lou La Monte, made their recommendation for awarding the general fund grants amounting to $100,000, which was more than last year.
“We decided we were going to give more. But spread it out among more organizations,” said La Monte.
The Malibu Community Labor Exchange was awarded almost a third of the pie when the subcommittee recommended giving the exchange $30,000. The grant to the labor exchange is contingent upon the appointment of a new director and holding a fundraiser, according to budget documents.
Next on the list is the Boys and Girls Club of Malibu teen center, which the subcommittee recommended awarding a $14,500 grant.
Other amounts handed out include: $5000 to Friends of Urgent Care. A grant of $7500 to Children’s Lifesaving Foundation. Another $7500 is suggested for Malibu West Fire Safe and Sustainability.
Malibu Biodiesel Inc. was promised $5000 if it secures a site, offers proof of a guaranteed source of obtaining material and provides proof of permits and insurance by June 30, 2012.
Other amounts include $3000 to SOS Community Outreach, $3000 to Malibu Friends of Music and another $3000 for Malibu High School Grad night and $5000 to the Malibu High School PTSA.
The city’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year totals $37.9 million. The amount includes general fund revenues of $20.7 million and general fund expenditures of $21 million, which includes a total of $561,000 for the city’s liability payment to Cal_ PERS, according to a staff report.
The A&F was told how the costs came about and decided to recommend an option suggested in a report prepared by consultants hired by the city to help curtail current and future costs for what is called the unfunded liability with CalPERS.
When the city joined CalPERS, a side fund was created to account for the difference between the funded status and unfunded status of the city’s plan. Currently, the city pays approximately $75,000 a year towards the total unfunded amount of $561,000.
The consultants recommended that the city pay off the unfunded amount, which would lower the city’s annual contribution rate by 1.5 percent and would immediately provide a cost savings for the city.
The A&F subcommittee subsequently recommended the council fund the city’s liability with CalPERS in fiscal year 2011-2012.
The subcommittee is currently in the process of reviewing long-term CalPERS options for the council to consider, according to a staff report.
The proposed budget also includes an increase of $10,000 in facilities rent.
“The city’s obligation for rent payments of the [old] City Hall space will end in July 2012, at which time the city’s debt service associated with the acquisition and improvements of City Hall will commence. $50,000 for leasehold improvements of city facilities has also been included in the proposed budget,” the staff report states.
The budget for City Hall operations has increased as a result of the city’s occupancy of the new facility.
Funding has been added for custodial services and other department related expenses. The budget for the upcoming fiscal year, according to the staff report, includes the addition of a maintenance worker that will be responsible for all city facilities and primarily City Hall. The position has been budgeted for nine months for the upcoming year.
The A&F subcommittee has recommended the inclusion of the position for the upcoming fiscal year.
The city council will vote on approving the proposed budget at an upcoming meeting.

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