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Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Council Takes Second Look at Budget for Upcoming Year


The Malibu City Council, at a recent meeting, took another look at the proposed 2013-14 fiscal year budget.
The council had its second review during a public hearing after its subcommittee and the Cultural Arts Commission weighed in on grants funding at separate public meetings.
“The council's Administration and Finance Subcommittee met on May 14 and recommended that the council adopt the budget as presented,” said Assistant City Manager Reva Feldman, who noted the matter will came back to the council for its final vote on the budget on June 24.
“I was here in April when the council had its first review,” added Feldman, who said the A&F subcommittee made its recommendations for grant funding for council approval.
Council members were once again pleased to hear the city continues to experience growth in almost all tax revenue sources.  Property tax revenue is projected to increase $325,000 to $7.2 million from the 2012-13 tax year.
“The property tax is increasing about 10 percent from last year and reflects county-wide increases,” Feldman told the council.
“It is a balanced budget. The numbers really haven't changed much since April[at the first council session],” the assistant city manager said.
“The city is in good shape fiscally,” said Councilmember John Sibert, speaking to the council from Alaska. “Reva and her staff do a remarkable job putting the budget together.”
Feldman noted that the A&F subcommittee endorsed a recommendation to use library set-aside money for the Malibu Boys and Girls Club-instead of the grants awarded to them in the past-using library set-aside dollars..
“It was Reva who looked at the library funds,” said Councilmember Laura Rosenthal “She put those people together.”
Councilmember Joan House said she had questions about how a homeowners association got grant fund money. “I did not know we did that provide equipment or something for just one area.”
She was told the Malibu West had done this before when it was money used for a fire protection plan.
“They had received grants before,” said Mayor Lou La Monte.
Feldman, in her staff report reiterated how some financing is accomplished.
Her example is how the income revenue generated (from the Chili Cook off acquisition) not only pays to retire the debt service, but also covers the costs for the operation and maintenance of Legacy Park including its water quality treatment facilities
Feldman is referring to the $1.4 million of rental income from three commercial properties and $400,000 of percentage rental income from the Malibu Lumber Yard site for a total of $1.8 million.
Talking about total revenues, the assistant city manager had informed council members that the increase in revenues from various sources amounts to nearly a $1 million increase in revenue from the last fiscal year.
Special revenues total $8.1 million, including $5.7 million of grant funds for capital improvement projects. Gas tax revenue is projected at $405,000. Traffic safety revenue is expected to be $450,000. Proposition A revenue is $200,000 and Prop C revenue is projected at $160,000.
The new City Hall debt service was also taken into account by Feldman's staff report.
She said it will be the first year the city will start to make payments for the debt service which will be about $1.7 million.
“We were paying $800,000 for rent. In about 10 years we will be paying the same amount as if we had decided to keep paying rent. Except now we will own the building,” Feldman added.
The assistant city manager noted health care costs have gone up across the board. However, it is not specific to the city.
The overall budget for public safety has increased $127,000 from the prior fiscal year due to a 2.4 percent increase in cost charged by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, according to budget documents
The budget for administrative services has increased by $379, 000 due to the $489,000 for debt service for City Hall. “These increases are offset by a $222,000 decrease in Legacy Park operations and a $24,000 decrease in Finance,” Feldman wrote in her staff report.
The parks and recreation budget has decreased $65,000 mostly as a result of the closure of the skate park in 2011.
The budget for the environmental sustainability department has decreased a total of $271,000.
The reasons include a $273,000 reduction in building and safety because of the completion of a permit software project.
The planning department's budget has increased a total of $193,000 due to a $176,000 increase in planning for a contract planner and consulting services to assist with long-range planning projects, code updates and conditional use permits and updates to the Housing manager.
The public works department has decreased a total of $46,000.
There is a total of $10.8 million of capital expenditures, $5.7 million is being funded from grants, $3.1 million from the Civic Center wastewater treatment facility Community Facility District; $670,000 from special revenue funds and $1.3 million from the general fund capital improvements projects designated reserve fund.