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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.
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Carlitos: Posted: February 5, 2014 8:36 a.m.

Great opportunity to refund excess property taxes to the rightful owners!

src: Posted: February 5, 2014 8:49 a.m.

Or it could be spent on the schools, since we can never seem to find enough money "for the children".

EgbertSouse4U: Posted: February 5, 2014 9:02 a.m.

Boy, extra money just seems to burn a hole in their pockets. Can't decide where to throw piles of money. Ever hear of saving it for when we NEED it? How about using that money for decent legal representation to fight the chloride tax scam?

Baddog1: Posted: February 5, 2014 9:12 a.m.

I smell a random Roundabout popping up somewhere....

timothymyers02: Posted: February 5, 2014 10:48 a.m.

Look for about one happy, sunshiney, press releases regarding how wonderful things are in the City about twice per week until April (subliminal message: Vote for the incumbents!)

michael: Posted: February 5, 2014 1:00 p.m.

02: no doubt you're correct. I doubt waste and mclean will push for another library, but only they know for sure. Expanding central park perhaps. Working to lower the road maintenance backlog is needed but not flashy enough. Finding a way to recup the dollars spent on the Newhall money pit and CEMEX might work for them. In any case, I DO NOT wish them well with their e re-election. They both have out lived their value to the taxpayers.

BBennetts: Posted: February 5, 2014 1:05 p.m.

Glowing press releases just in time for election season. One hand washes the other at City Hall.

chefgirl358: Posted: February 6, 2014 10:14 p.m.

Groan...I almost wish the city were broke. Here's what comes to mind when i think of our city council having funds to spend:

Hmmm what kind of wretched artwork or horrific street project (roundabouts, Bouquet bug, bike lanes that reduce traffic lanes, back in parking, water sucking tree and plant filled medians) will they waste this money on? Oh wait, maybe they'll use it to build a library completely out of character with the area and pull out of the awesome county library system that costs us nothing? Or I know, I'll bet they dump over $100 million dollars into "revitalizing" downtown Newhall by actually driving out the successful businesses that have been there for decades and making it so unpleasant to navigate nobody wants to even drive anywhere near it. What's that? Oh they've already done all of those things? Gee, I can't imagine what type of new treat awaits us all!

Maybe they'll put in giant digital billboards everywhere so our town resembles a string of strip clubs on the Vegas strip! And if we're lucky, we'll get some more $.99 cent and $1 stores! Oh boy, and maybe another Walmart! Maybe they can finally get the Walmart at the shopping mall they always wanted! Ohhh and if we're really lucky, maybe some more high density housing! Or maybe some more humongous housing projects so the whole state can sit on the freeway while a bunch of idiots put in toll lanes. Can't wait to see what the leaders of "Awesometown" come up with this time!

Carlitos: Posted: February 6, 2014 7:10 p.m.

The IRS gives back money when it collects too much.

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