LCF Wraps Up Budget; Pledges $359,375 to Community

La Cañada Flintridge City Council members agreed on Monday to spend $359,375 to support 11 local community groups and spend $914,700 on capital projects such as street improvements and bridge repairs.
In the third and final of its annual budget hearings, the City Council decided to take $354,550 from reserves, $100,000 from its solid waste funds and increase its conservative revenue expectations by adding $125,000 to the budget for items they deem necessary in the coming fiscal year.
The previous week, council members reviewed the city’s financials to learn that it expects to bring in a total of $13.863 million in 2017-18 and to have $13.118 million in expenses, which left a preliminary balance of $745,550 for council consideration items.
The City Council invested in public safety by approving a $60,000 contribution (with another $60,000 promised) toward a new mobile command post, to be used by Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station personnel in case of emergency and major operations.
Council members also gave the green light to the $5,000-per-year lease (for the next five years) of a mobile automatic license plate reader that will operate in the city.
The city also will participate in a promotional program for the Ring.com, the video activated doorbell that allows residents to monitor their home from a smartphone. Once it goes into effect, the first 100 residents who sign up will receive the $200 product for $100 because the city plans to match the $50 rebate the company is offering.
Carl Alameda, director of administrative services, said residents will receive the discount when they enter their zip code on the website upon ordering.
“It’s a good idea,” Mayor Michael Davitt said during the second budget hearing, on Thursday, June 22. “It seems like pretty minimal cost and like encouragement to use it.”
On Monday, council members received presentations from 11 community groups hoping for funding and were amenable to all of them:
The La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce will receive $110,000 to help it expand its community development opportunities as it balances its books.
The Lanterman Historical Museum Foundation will receive $108,375 to cover a new pay structure to help attract new hires who will be salaried instead of hourly when they replace outgoing Executive Director Melissa Patton and historian Tim Gregory, both of whom are retiring this year.
The Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge will have $45,000 of the city’s money to work with as it seeks to enhance activities for financially limited seniors and to help pay for painting the facility. The YMCA of the Foothills will receive $35,000 to support the creation of an on-site woodworking workshop.
The Descanso Gardens Guild will use the $15,000 it received to help improve its parking to accommodate a recent “spectacular but not unproblematic” surge in attendance, as Executive Director David Brown described it. Last year, Descanso Gardens set a record with 515,000 visitors, which ranked No. 15 in the nation among public gardens, according to Brown, who said the botanical garden is on pace to attract about 750,000 visitors this year.
City funds also will go to support the LCF Tournament of Roses Association ($15,000); La Cañada Beautiful ($12,000); LCF Sister Cities Association ($9,500); LCHS Music Parents Association ($5,000); LCF Coordinating Council ($2,500) and One City, One Book ($2,000).
Council members were more selective in determining which of its capital projects it wanted to fund, agreeing to spend $438,700 of general reserve funds on street resurfacing; $125,000 on miscellaneous concrete repairs; $112,000 on repairs to bridges throughout the city and $94,000 on street improvements to Knight Way, Gould Avenue and Paulette Place.
For now, the council opted against adding a $100,000 guardrail at 3900 Chevy Chase Road, introducing a new $50,000 monument sign where Foothill Boulevard meets the 2 Freeway and spending $25,000 to introduce landscaping on city-owned land at Verdugo Boulevard and Encinas Drive.

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