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Santa Clarita projecting a balanced budget

City manager says general fund revenues are finally back to pre-recession levels

Posted: May 7, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: May 7, 2014 2:00 a.m.

City officials painted a rosy picture of Santa Clarita’s projected budget for the next fiscal year during a meeting Tuesday night, calling it balanced and conservative while also containing funding for a variety of needed projects around the city.

Santa Clarita City Council members and members of the city’s Arts Commission, Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission and Planning Commission gathered Tuesday for a joint budget study session in City Hall.

During the meeting, City Manager Ken Striplin said three of the primary goals of the budget are to focus on the city’s aging infrastructure, maintain a futuristic approach and continue to increase the city’s general fund operating reserve.

Striplin also said city general fund revenues are finally back to pre-recession levels.

The budget includes projected general fund revenues of $91.3 million, with general fund expenditures of $90.8 million.

The city’s general fund operating reserve is projected to hit 18 percent this year, Striplin said, and the city continues to look to grow that reserve in the coming fiscal years.

The projected $191.5 million budget for the upcoming 2014-2015 fiscal year includes spending on a variety of projects and efforts ranging from $135,000 for continued advocacy regarding the proposed Cemex mine in Soledad Canyon to a $100,000 increase in the city’s contribution to the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center — bringing that total contribution to around $750,000, according to city officials.

The projected Capital Improvement Program budget for the next fiscal year is projected to be around $39.1 million, according to Striplin. Some notable capital projects on tap include $580,000 to replace the roof at the Valencia Library, $1 million for the city’s sidewalk repair program and $10.5 million for the overlay and slurry seal program.

The budget proposal is slated to go before the city Planning Commission on June 3, with a public hearing to follow on June 10.

Final adoption of the budget by the City Council is expected on June 24, according to city officials.

The 2014-2015 fiscal year begins July 1.
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