Encinitas City Council approves budget, allocates funds for open space

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By Kirk Sanderson

The Encinitas City Council has unanimously approved a $95.6 million 2017-2018 budget virtually identical to one submitted by staff, with one exception: an annual allotment of up to $500,000 for the acquisition of open space, suggested by Councilmember Mark Muir.

“We’re also putting an additional $250,000 a year into a new fund called ‘General Mobility Improvements’ to help fund bike lanes, striping, sidewalks, and related needs,” Mayor Catherine Blakespear writes in her newsletter.

“The city continues to fully fund reserves, maintain and improve services like street cleaning and paving, has a relatively low bonded debt ratio of 5.7%, is managing our pension liability and the predicted increases in that yearly payment and has made no permanent additions to the size of city staff.”

According to a staff report, the city of Encinitas operates on a two-year budget cycle, for which the City Council approves the operating budget for both years but only appropriates funding and authorizes spending for the first year.

The second-year budget is developed for planning purposes and can be revised at the end of the first year. The two-year operating budget includes the proposed revenue and expenditure plans for each department over the next two years.

The six-year financial plan/Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) is a longer-term plan developed to demonstrate fiscal sustainability and to plan for the construction and replacement of infrastructure and other capital assets.

The General Fund operating budget was proposed at $62.6 million for FY 2017-2018 and $64.8 million for FY 2018-2019. The proposed CIP contained $89.5 million in capital improvement/work projects over the next six years. Of the six-year total, $13.4 million is programmed for FY 2017-2018. The proposed CIP contains only those projects for which funds are currently available or are anticipated to be available in the next six years.

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