News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

News online for Encinitas, Calif.

North Coast Current

Shop Surf Gear at HansenSurf.com
weight-watchers-banner-ads

Carlsbad Approves Balanced Budget

Carlsbad+Approves+Balanced+Budget

Carlsbad CA— The Carlsbad City Council approved a $313.5 million budget Tuesday that includes new parks projects, road improvements and investments in water reliability, in addition to setting aside $10 million to fund city services during any future economic downturns. The budget will go into effect July 1, the start of the city’s fiscal year.
“This budget exemplifies the city’s responsible approach to managing city finances,” said Helga Stover, the city’s budget manager. “We are investing in the programs and services most important to the community, while making sure we have money set aside for a rainy day.”
The fiscal year 2015-16 budget includes an operating budget of $240 million and a Capital Improvement Program budget of $73.5 million.
The operating budget includes day-to-day city expenses, such as public safety, parks and recreation, libraries, infrastructure maintenance and other services. The Capital Improvement Program budget covers major city construction projects.
The city is increasing its budget in fiscal year 2015-16, including adding $175,000 to the library materials budget to address increasing demand, particularly for electronic materials, and bring the department back to pre-recession spending levels. Another increase covers the replacement of public safety communication equipment, at a cost of $590,000 for the Fire Department and $879,000 for the Police Department.
The city will eliminate 11.75 full-time positions that are currently vacant and add 16.25 full-time positions, a net increase of 4.5 positions. The budget also includes 3.75 limited term positions.
“We are taking a look at our current and future needs and making sure we have the right staffing in place to provide services in the most efficient way possible,” said Stover. “In recent years, departments have reorganized, including looking at what services should be provided by staff and which should be contracted out. This has enabled us to capture budget savings and allocate those resources where they are needed most.”
One area getting additional staff resources is the city’s Public Works Department. Two new engineer positions will help accelerate the pace of infrastructure improvements and major civic projects.
The city plans a number of projects that will make the beach along Carlsbad Boulevard more accessible and attractive, including widening the narrow sidewalk and installing safety railings on the west side of the bridge that crosses the warm water channel along Carlsbad Boulevard, south of Tamarack Avenue. The city will also make improvements on Carlsbad Boulevard between Cannon Road and Manzano Drive to improve travel for automobiles, bicycles and pedestrians.
City parks are earmarked to receive $19.9 million in new spending. Park projects include a multipurpose community center and gymnasium, a community garden and a botanical-ornamental garden at Pine Park. Aviara Community Park is slated to get a large outdoor gathering area with a small amphitheater, group picnic areas, a perimeter walking path and a warming kitchen to support outside catering and food and beverage services for small events. Poinsettia Community Park improvements include a fenced dog park for large and small dogs, updated tot lots, and a multisport arena with a picnic area and artificial turf field.
The 2015-16 Capital Improvement Program includes $10.6 million to expand the Carlsbad Water Recycling Facility, which will help alleviate water shortages due to the ongoing drought. The expansion will increase the recycled water supply from 4 million gallons a day to 7 million gallons a day and will include additional pipelines.
The Carlsbad economy has been improving with the addition of hotel, retail and commercial projects, as well as a strengthening regional economy. The city is balancing increased revenues with continued fiscal challenges, including inflation, higher taxes and the cost of new state and federal regulations. The preliminary operating budget assumes that the city’s general fund revenue, money that can be spent on day-to-day services, will increase by approximately 2.8 percent in fiscal year 2015-16 compared to the previous year’s projected revenue.

Activate Search
Carlsbad Approves Balanced Budget