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City budget moves toward final approval

Posted: June 12, 2013 10:50 a.m.
Updated: June 12, 2013 10:50 a.m.

Santa Clarita City Council members voted unanimously this week to move forward with the city’s proposed $180.6 million budget for next fiscal year.

The budget for the next fiscal year, which begins July 1 and runs through June 30, 2014, is actually about 1.3 percent smaller than the budget for the current fiscal year.

“This budget is consistent with our mindset to be conservative and mindful of future challenges and opportunities,” said City Manager Ken Striplin.

Striplin said the budget includes a 17 percent operating reserve, totaling around $13.1 million, and contains more than $40 million in capital spending for projects around the city.

Some of the capital improvement projects planned for the next fiscal year include $3 million to construct new sports fields at Central Park in Saugus, $2.8 million to refurbish medians along Soledad Canyon Road and $850,000 to repair sidewalks.

Tuesday night’s council meeting was meant to be a public hearing on the budget, but only one member of the public spoke.

That speaker, Canyon Country resident Berta Gonzalez-Harper, used her time to praise the city for spending money to improve areas in Canyon Country.

“You don’t be a wonderful city like we are by letting areas deteriorate,” said City Councilwoman Marsha McLean.

McLean also said Santa Clarita’s budget measures up well when compared to those of other cities around the state.

“I can tell you there’s not a lot of cities that can boast the type of budget we boast here,” McLean said. “And that doesn’t happen by accident.”

Councilwoman Laurene Weste likewise said she was “thrilled” to see a budget calling for full funding for all city departments.

Like his fellow council members, Councilman TimBen Boydston thanked city staffers for their work in preparing the budget. He also took time to thank the city’s taxpayers.

“They are the reason why we are able to spend money and take credit for the great things that we do,” he said.
In the end, council members voted 4-0 to schedule the budget for final adoption on June 25. Councilman Frank Ferry was absent from Tuesday’s meeting.
On Twitter @LukeMMoney



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