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Santa Clarita City Council gives final approval to budget

Posted: June 26, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 26, 2013 2:00 a.m.
 

Santa Clarita City Council members voted unanimously Tuesday night to give final approval to the city’s $180.6 million budget, which city officials have praised as balanced and conservative.

The budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year, which begins July 1, is about 1.31 percent smaller than last year but contains no cuts in city services, according to Santa Clarita City Manager Ken Striplin.

Most of the city’s budget is made up of funds that are restricted and earmarked for a specific purpose. About $85 million of the city’s budget is made up of revenues that go into the general fund, money that can be used as the city sees fit.

The city’s budget for the city’s 2013-2014 fiscal year budget details about $84.5 million in general fund expenditures, giving the city a small surplus in that area.

The budget also includes a 17 percent reserve fund, which amounts to roughly $13.1 million. Increasing the reserve to that level was one of the major goals expressed by council members during the budget process.

The purpose of this reserve fund is twofold, according to city officials, as it is both inline with the city’s policy of fiscal conservatism and allows for emergency spending in case of a natural disaster.

The city budget also includes roughly $40.1 million in spending on capital improvement projects around the city.

Some major capital projects on tap for next year include $2.8 million to refurbish medians on Soledad Canyon Road, $850,000 for the city’s sidewalk repair program and $3 million for new, lighted multi-sport fields and additional parking spaces at Central Park in Saugus.

Another major budget area is public safety, which totals $21 million.

Council members also voted 4-1 to boost council salaries by 3 percent per year over the next two fiscal years. The pay increase amounts to an extra $103.73 a month for each council member and will go into effect in July 2014.Councilman TimBen Boydston voted against the raise.

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