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Council to review budget, MRF committee

Posted: June 5, 2009 9:26 p.m.
Updated: June 6, 2009 8:00 a.m.
The Santa Clarita City Council is set to open a public hearing Tuesday night for the proposed $171.9 million 2009-10 budget.

In response to a sullen economy, falling local sales tax revenue and California's own budget mess, city officials have spent the last few months tweaking the budget for the coming year, making cuts of about 5 percent to department budgets.

The proposed budget includes a $77 million general fund and nearly $30 million in capital improvement project funding.

On Tuesday, the council will get an overview of the budget and hear any public comment. The council is scheduled to approve the budget on June 23. The fiscal year lasts from July 1 to June 30.

The proposed, balanced budget reflects a 28 percent - or $66.6 million - decrease from the previous year.

Twenty open city jobs remain frozen, and while there have been no pay cuts, there are no pay raises for the time being either. City officials have also saved more than $500,000 by reducing temporary employees, overtime and training budgets.

In other business, the council is expected to sign off on a site-selection committee for a local recycling facility.

In February, the council approved the formation of a site-selection committee for a 170,000-square-foot materials recovery facility (or MRF, pronounced "murf"), to be built by Burrtec Waste Industries Inc.

The city needs the recycling plant in order to meet the state requirement to recycle at least 50 percent of its trash - a mandate that could swell to 75 percent in the coming years.

The recommended committee members include: Councilwoman Laurene Weste; Councilwoman Marsha McLean; Alan Ferdman of the Canyon Country Advisory Committee; Bill Dinsenbacher of the Saugus Action Committee; Maria Gutzeit of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce; Duane Harte - with Carol Rock as an alternate - from the Newhall Redevelopment Committee; Theone Miller as a Valencia-area representative; to-be-determined representatives of the Sierra Club and the Val Verde Civic Association; and open seats held by David Thompson, Edward Hill, Roger Wagner and Spencer Leafdale.

Once the council has approved the panel members, the group will meet over several months for orientation and discussion of the issues at hand, site tours and formation of a list of possible sites for a MRF.

The City Council meets at 6 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall, located at 23920 Valencia Blvd.


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