City budget on target

A preliminary 4th quarter fiscal report for the City of Malibu indicated the various city departments’ activities appear to be on target for the most part. Though the city has undergone changes with staff and elected officials, overall, the matters to which they tend have not been affected drastically.

As of May 31, 2000, the city received $11,134,473, equaling 90.45 percent of its budgeted expectations. They also received an extra $1,766,552 from special revenue funds, which include gas tax funds, transportation development act, landslide maintenance district and more.

According to the report, expenditures for the 11 months period are also in line with appropriations. During the quarterly meeting, the City Council was briefed by each department and informed about the status of all the projects each department is involved with, item by item.

Law enforcement services, code enforcement services, animal control services and disaster preparedness cost $3,507.273. These figures showsa differential of about 20 percent less than the $4,353,206 budgeted for the entire year.

Vehicle impound revenues were about half of what the city had expected. Visitors and residents alike have been spared from the predicament of having their vehicles towed and all the while the city is still in good financial health.

The city earned $170,719 from parking citations and processes. Property tax income exceeded expectations by $134,382, since the actual earnings of $2,434,382 and $2,300,000 were budgeted. However, deregulation decreased the utility users tax income since it was implemented in 1999.

Seeing that the Parks and Recreation Department has spent less than the amount budgeted, Paul Adams, Parks and Recreations director, said in his report to the council that vacancies in the department staff have made promoting and implementing programs at the that they had originally planned impossible.

“We are currently starting a third recruitment cycle to fill our open recreation supervisor position,” said Adams.

When the department director, Catherine Walter, left in December, the position was left open for two months until Adams was appointed.

“The result has been a savings, primarily in salaries, of some of the expected operating costs,” he said. “The downside is that our enrollments have also been down, which has resulted in lower revenues and lower program expenses.

“There are many needs in this community that I hope my department can help to fill,” said Adams, adding that the department is confident they will have continued growth in both the number of participants and in the number of services provided.

However, it takes experienced staff to implement good quality programs and to help the public get involved.

“Our vacancies this past year have created a challenge for us, but we look forward to getting back on track once our vacancy is filled,” said Adams.

Public Works services also ran below budgeted numbers. So far, 55.66 percent of the $2,321,602 budgeted was spent on street maintenance, sidewalk and trail maintenance, traffic control, flood control and storm damage, median and parkway maintenance, parks and open space maintenance, and general engineering.

Chuck Bergson, Public Works director, said that as of July 31, the department ran on budget, because the figures indicated in the quarterly report did not show the purchase orders, that have been issued since then.

These purchase orders include sidewalk and street maintenance for Morning View Drive and Gernsey Avenue, the paving of Corral Canyon, flood works and repairs in other area, and more.

Ed Lippman, city treasurer, said this was only a preliminary report and a full quarterly account, expected to be ready by mid-August, will show the final numbers more accurately.

The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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