Conservancy faces dire budget crisis

Recent reports of a budget crisis looming in the immediate future are a reality for the nearly 20-year-old Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, according to its Chief Deputy Director Belinda Faustinos. “The conservancy will be in dire financial straits as of July 1, specifically regarding our ability to provide service to the Santa Monica Mountains.” Faustinos said Proposition A funds from the county will be exhausted by June 30.

The deputy director acknowledged that small pots of funds for other programs do exist; however, even those funds will run out by the year 2000 and wouldn’t compensate for the the immediate need anyway. “Our major problem will be in providing service to our core area of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy.”

While there is apparently some argument on the local and state levels as to the severity of the conservancy’s actual need, Faustinos asserts that the conservancy’s cry for help is critical and the solution for support has been determined. “We are looking for an augmentation of $689,000 from the general fund in order to provide basic agency support to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy in order to meet our objective.”

Critics reportedly say the agency has always functioned on the edge of making ends meet and has always managed to find a way out of the woods.

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Next articleMarch 11, 1999
The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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