Solana Beach adopts $26.1 million budget

Solana Beach adopts $26.1 million budget
City Council adopted a $26.1 million budget for the current fiscal year that started July 1. It does not include any money to replace the beach-access stairway, adjacent to Del Mar Shores Terrace condominiums, that has been closed for safety reasons since November, or to improve the stairs at Tide Beach. The two projects, which total $1.5 million, are only half funded. Photo by Bianca Kaplanek

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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