The Coast News Group
The deadline to apply is Dec. 28 and the minimum grant for public service is $10,000. Courtesy photo

Budget to add $500k to pension payment, $75k for grant

ENCINITAS — Encinitas is poised to pay an additional $500,000 toward lowering its unfunded pension liability and pick up the $75,000 shortfall in its community grants program budget left when a family foundation cut ties with the city.

The City Council at its May 22 meeting approved the recommendations for its two-year budget window, which the council will formally adopt June 12.

Among the most discussed budget items were the proposed $500,000 payment toward the city pension debt for the next five years, which staff said would save the city $2.75 million over the next 25 years by reducing the future required contributions by $5.25 million.

The city also is pledging to temporarily fill the $75,000 funding gap in the community grants program with its own money.

Back in March, the city confirmed that the Mizel Family Foundation, which had been providing a $75,000 match to the city’s contribution for the program, would no longer partner with the city.

City Parks and Recreation Director Jennifer Campbell said the city is actively looking for an organization to partner with, but in the meantime would request the city to pay the full $15,000.

The City Council unanimously agreed to both line items as part of the package of recommendations headed to the council on June 12.

The two-year general fund budget — the budget that covers all of the city core services — is projecting expenses of $69.3 million and $71.7 million, the increases largely due to rising personnel and contract costs, including a 5.5 % and 5% increase to the sheriff’s department contract in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

General fund revenues during those years are expected to rise from the current $75.1 million to $77 million in 2020 and $79 million by 2021.

City officials are anticipating rising property tax receipts and transient occupancy taxes — or hotel taxes — to comprise the majority of the revenue increases.