Malibu Surfside News

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

City Council Subcommittee to Review Proposed FY 2013-14 Municipal Budget

• Any Revisions in the Document Are Expected to Be Minor

BY BILL KOENEKER

No revisions have been made to the proposed budget for the next fiscal year as it wends its way this week through the Malibu City Council Administration and Finance Subcommittee, according to Assistant City Manager Reva Feldman.
The subcommittee, which meets this week on Tuesday as the Malibu Surfside News was going to press, is expected to review the document and make recommendations.
The council, at a previous meeting, took its first look at the proposed 2013-14 fiscal year budget.
The proposed document now includes general fund revenues of $21.73 million and general fund expenditures of $21.72 million, according to Feldman.
Feldman added a big plus in the revised picture was for the projected designated and undesignated general fund by June 30, 2014 is now anticipated to be $14.82 million.
The assistant city manager noted in her revised staff report, “Revenues and expenditures for fiscal year 2012-2013 and fiscal year 2013-2014 have been refined since the budget was presented to the council.”
She added,“The undesignated reserve is budgeted at 58 percent of the annual operating budget and exceeds the city’s goal of maintaining a minimum of 50 percent of the operating budget in reserves.”
In the revised staff report, Feldman explains how a proposed starting general fund reserve at July 1, 2013 of $12.62 million changed.
“This reserve is $2.8 million higher than the general fund reserve that was anticipated during the prior year budget development. The significant increase is due to the $1 million reimbursement that the city received from the Civic Center Wastewater Treatment Facility Communities Facilities District, $1.3 million of additional general fund revenue, $175,000 of legal fee reimbursements and conservative spending in Fiscal Year 2012-2013. “Strong reserves have been achieved while funding clean water programs, including establishing a $250,000 reserve as required by the Baykeepers/NRDC litigation and appropriating $113,000 for the Broad Beach Biofiltration Project and $110,000 for ASBS.”
Property tax revenue is projected to increase $325,000 to $7.2 million from the 2012-13 tax year.
No changes or further discussion has ensued since it was revealed how much more Malibu is paying for law enforcement services than other surrounding cities.
At the previous council session, Councilmember Joan House wanted to know how much other cities are paying for public safety most notably the contract for law enforcement services.
City Manager Jim Thorsen said other cities such as Hidden Hills, Westlake Village and Calabasas are about half of what Malibu pays, $3 to $4 million, while Malibu pays $6.5 million. “We are paying about double or triple. Santa Monica pays $91 million,” Thorsen said.
Sibert noted it is something the city has been concerned about. Santa Monica, a city of about 100,000, has its own police force.
Several years ago, the city undertook a study about the costs of it paying for its own in-house police force, but determined the undertaking would be too costly.
There has been no discussion at the council level if another study is warranted in light of the current costs.

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