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Positive budget picture taking shape for Santa Clarita

Posted: February 5, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 5, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

It’s still early in the process, but it appears Santa Clarita general fund revenues in the next fiscal year are set to reach levels not seen since the recession, officials said Tuesday.

During a Tuesday study session outlining the preliminary state of Santa Clarita’s budget for the next fiscal year, City Manager Ken Striplin said many general fund revenue categories are back to pre-recession levels — providing some stability after years of economic uncertainty.

“It’s very good news that we’re back to that revenue level,” Striplin said.

Those figures are buoyed in part by overall economic improvement in the city, including improvement in the housing market and a low unemployment rate, Striplin said.

But despite reasons for optimism, Striplin said there are some matters that must be addressed in the next budget, including maintenance of the city’s aging infrastructure and future funding liabilities such as expansion work at Central Park, a permanent Canyon Country Community Center and possibly a library with meeting rooms in Saugus.

Striplin also urged adherence to the city’s policy of being fiscally conservative, saying it is even more necessary to be cautious during the “good times” of economic recovery than in the “bad times” of a recession.

To that end, Striplin pointed to the growth of the city’s operating fund reserve, which is slated to reach 18 percent in the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.

Tuesday’s meeting was but a starting point for the city’s six-month budget planning process, which will culminate in June when City Council members officially vote to adopt a budget.

Lmoney@signalscv.com
661-287-5525
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@LukeMMoney

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