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Council to take on budget Tuesday

Posted: June 9, 2008 1:51 a.m.
Updated: August 10, 2008 5:03 a.m.

The Santa Clarita City Council will begin tackling next year's $165 million city budget in a public hearing Tuesday.

About half of the city's total revenues are in the $87 million general fund, which is expected to see a 1.5 percent decrease in revenues compared to this year as a result of flat sales tax projections, and a decrease in development revenue, interest income and revenues from the state.

The capital improvement budget totals $25 million, which provides funding for 42 capital projects. City staff has said that although funding will continue for existing projects, a decrease in general fund revenue means this is not the year to take on new big projects or programs.

The Parks, Recreation and Community Services department would get the largest chunk of general fund expenditures - about 24 percent.

The total appropriations in the proposed 2008-2009 budget are 4 percent higher than this year's budget. Most of the increase will be funded out of the landscape and street light maintenance district. It also includes an increased public safety budget that includes hiring two new patrol deputies.

In other business, the council will consider switching to a new city transit contractor to manage, operate and maintain the city's 81-vehicle transit fleet. The proposal is to spend nearly $50 million for a three-year contract with MV Transportation through 2011. The existing contract with Veolia Transportation, Inc. expires on August 5.

The city will also consider allowing the Santa Clarita Redevelopment Agency -- which receives funding for Newhall redevelopment projects -- to invest available funds in a state-administered investment program called the Local Agency Investment Fund. The city currently has other funds invested with LAIF and amounts up to $10 million can be withdrawn daily without advance notice.

The council will meet at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers of City Hall at 23920 Valencia Blvd.


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