PALMDALE – City Council on Wednesday approved mid-year budget adjustments that increased projected revenue for the fiscal year by $24 million and reduced expenses by $1 million in the operations and maintenance budget of the city.
On June 15, the Council adopted the 2021-2023 biennial budget. A mid-term review of the 2021-22 fiscal year is being used to reflect changes due to more recently identified needs and the June 20 final annual report, according to the staff report.
Most of the revenue increase — $17.7 million — comes in the form of refunded transportation funds for capital projects, including gas tax and subway funds, the director said. Finance Assistant, Janelle Samson.
An additional $5.2 million of the increase is for projected property and sales tax revenues.
In the case of expenditures, the increase of $1 million represents approximately 0.2% of the total budget.
“These are very minimal adjustments that we’re presenting to you as a city-wide adjustment,” Samson said.
Much of the adjustment involves moving funds between different spending areas, according to the staff report.
With the changes, the ending citywide budget balance is expected to be $234 million, down from the starting balance of $270 million, but still with enough to maintain the city’s positive financial position. city, according to the staff report.
Among changes to individual budget areas, the Measure AV sales tax fund will decrease by $120,000 for the purchase of a graffiti truck for the existing graffiti team, Samson said. That purchase and the mid-year budget are expected to be reviewed by Measure AV’s oversight committee next week, she said.
Measure AV’s entire budget will also be reviewed, Interim City Manager Ronda Perez said, to reassess the programs it funds. Any money not spent in this fiscal year will carry over to the next.
The city also received half of the $35.4 million allocated to it under the American Rescue Plan Act. The budget plan on how to use the remaining $17.7 million expected this year is being worked on and will be presented to the Board before June, Samson said.
Spending on the city’s capital improvement projects was cut by $9.9 million, removing projects that were completed or put on hold for this fiscal year, she said.
As part of mid-year budget discussions, Council also approved a salary increase for part-time parks and recreation staff, to reflect the increase in the minimum wage and to be more competitive in attracting staff. .
That includes department program managers, stage assistants at the Palmdale Playhouse and lifeguards, Parks and Recreation Director Keri Smith said.
“We really struggled to find enough employees for our positions,” she said of the requested pay rise for those part-time positions with no benefits.
The new pay scale ranges from $16 to $22.51 per hour and is based on a survey of comparable local positions.
“This is an overhaul of our series of works that needed to be done. We haven’t adjusted all of those positions to be fair and evenly spaced over the last three years,” Smith said.
The Department employs about 350 people part-time in the summer and about half that number in the winter months, she said.