SOLANA BEACH — City Council adopted a $26.1 million budget at the June 26 meeting that includes a projected surplus for the new fiscal year that began July 1.
Although the city has always adopted a balanced budget, this is the first time in a few years officials didn’t start the process looking at a deficit.
A proposed budget presented May 15 showed estimated revenues at $26,106,100 and expenditures at $25,604,274, with a projected reserve balance of $39,102,738 expected as of June 30, 2014.
Most revenues and expenses remain flat compared to the last fiscal year.
However, there is a $26,000 additional expenditure to comply with the Affordable Care Act to provide health insurance benefits to three temporary employees who average more than 30 hours a week annually and a $285,000 increase in the sheriff’s contract.
The adopted budget includes a few amendments made since the May presentation. Staff allocated $165,000 for negotiations with employee groups that are ongoing.
There is a $23,300 increase for a new landscape maintenance contract, that includes an expanded scope of work, which was approved at the June 26 meeting. The fire management agreement projects a savings of $17,300.
Additional expenses also include $10,000 more for a cashiering counter, $7,400 in water costs as a result of the Highway 101 improvement project and $60,000 for the Encinitas conveyance fee for sanitation that was mistakenly omitted in the proposed budget presented in May.
The adopted budget shows $26,116,100 in revenue, expenditures of $25,862,700 and a projected reserve balance of $38,812,312.
The $3.3 million capital improvement budget has an estimated surplus of $48,300, but as Councilman Dave Zito noted, it doesn’t include replacing the beach-access stairs, adjacent to Del Mar Shores Terrace condominiums, that were closed last year after being deemed unsafe.
Only half of that $1.3 million project is funded. Work must start by January or the city will have to submit a new permit application to the California Coastal Commission.
“I would expect we’re going to be coming back with a significant bump in the capital budget at some point in the relatively near future,” Zito said.
Property taxes are estimated at $5.8 million, a 1.3 percent increase over the current fiscal year.
Sales tax is estimated to be $2.8 million. That it an anticipated 4 percent decrease due to the loss of a number of businesses in the past 12 months that were major contributors to the sales tax base.
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