Today Looms as Decisive Moment in Setting of LCF Budget

General fund revenues for the city of La Cañada Flintridge during the 2019-20 fiscal year are projected to be $15,501,425, a 6.3% — or $931,100 — increase over the current year’s adopted revenues, according to documents presented at recent budget hearings.
That overall total also represents a 2.8% increase over 2018-19 estimated year-end revenues — the dollar figure is $426,675 — because of anticipated sales tax from Target and other retailers, as well as an increase to property tax collection ($224,500 more than in the previous year’s budget) and other factors, according to documents presented by City Manager Mark Alexander.
“At this point I’ve only seen the first recording quarter of sales tax generation from Target,” Alexander said. “While I’m not by law allowed to reveal publicly what that number is … it looks very promising. It looks like they will surpass what Sport Chalet generated in sales tax.”
Alexander said Target opened in October and the city had received the receipts from October through December and will receive January through March next.
Sport Chalet contributed a large amount of sales tax revenue and formerly operated in the Target site — and had its headquarters in what now is City Hall — before filing for bankruptcy and eventually closing in 2016.
A series of budget meetings were held Tuesday morning and night at the council chambers.
The LCF City Council will make its final decision on the 2019-20 budget at 8 a.m. this morning at City Hall in its final meeting to appropriate funds to be spent on July 1. The adoption of the budget on July 16 is a formality.
During discussion, personnel costs for the upcoming year were presented at $4,566,125, $269,950 higher than this year’s approved costs of $4,296,175.
A potential 4.91% increase cost for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department services would result in a total of $3,067,600. The department has also requested $244,650 for overtime, including includes $185,000 for directed patrols, according to documents.
“If there is any issue or matter or trend that needs attention, the captain has at his disposal this money to help put on extra patrols,” Alexander said.
City officials also seek to turn two-existing part-time positions — senior civil engineer and assistant engineer — into full-time salaried positions.
The total general fund operations cost is budgeted at $10,179,825, which is $141,600 more than in 2018-19 but doesn’t incorporate new capital improvement projects, new programs or contributions to community groups.
On Tuesday night, 11 community groups requested a total of $417,800. They are the La Cañada Flintridge Coordinating Council ($1,000); One City, One Book Committee ($2,500); La Cañada Flintridge Sister Cities Association ($5,000); La Cañada High School Music Parents Association ($5,000); Flintridge Guild of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles ($6,975); La Cañada Valley Beautiful ($12,000); La Cañada Flintridge Tournament of Roses Association ($15,400); USC-Verdugo Hills Hospital Foundation ($40,000); Community Center of La Cañada Flintridge ($85,000); Lanterman Historical Museum Foundation ($122,275); and La Cañada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce and Community Association ($122,650).
Councilman Michael Davitt told the groups the council would not make any decisions until reviewing all of the information about the budget.
Besides the community groups’ requests, there were other council consideration items to weigh.
Among Alexander’s recommendations for council approval were additional hours for two permit technicians ($23,373), new business license software ($19,550) and the Foothill Intermediate School tennis court resurfacing project ($125,000).
Today’s budget meeting begins at 8 a.m. at City Hall, located at One Civic Center Drive, next to Target.
For more information, contact the city at (818) 790-8880.

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