The Coast News Group

Crossings, retirement payments reduce Encinitas budget reserves

ENCINITAS — Encinitas’ officials remain bullish on the city’s budget outlook, despite several projects cutting into the city’s $11 million budget surplus.

The council received its mid-year budget report, in which City Finance Director Tim Nash told the council that while sales tax and property tax revenues were outpacing last year’s numbers, budget expenses were up as well, due to $1.2 million in mid-year budget amendments.

Among those big-ticket items were the design of the at-grade crossing at Montgomery Avenue, the matching funds the city must contribute to the underground rail crossing at El Portal, and a $341,000 payment to the state retirement system.

Still, Nash said, the City Council both has a large surplus and fully funded reserves.

Council members said they were encouraged by the report, but vowed to continue to maintain vigilance in terms of holding the budget line.

“It is reassuring to know we are in great financial shape,” Councilwoman Lisa Shaffer said.