City plans hearing to discuss $203M budget

City of Santa Clarita City Hall
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Santa Clarita City Council members plan to discuss the city’s $203 million budget for the next fiscal year at their Tuesday meeting. If approved, the plan is expected to be adopted at the June 26 meeting.

Santa Clarita’s budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year expects to increase by 2.6 percent, or about $5.2 million more than the current budget, according to city documents.

The city budgeted $28.7 million for its Capital Improvement Program, which looks at the community’s needs for major ongoing projects and factors into the city’s five-year plan, Santa Clarita 2020. The program’s budget is about $5 million less than the current allocation. However, the city anticipates additional funding for projects, such as the construction contract for the new 46,000-square-foot sheriff’s station on Golden Valley Road, among other Santa Clarita 2020 projects.

The city is setting aside $110.4 million of the budget for departmental operations; another $16.9 million is being set aside for an emergency fund.

The annual operating budget for this fiscal year, which ends June 30, was $197.7 million. The largest portion, for operations and maintenance, totaled 51 percent of the budget. Personnel totaled 26 percent, with 17 percent for capital projects. General fund revenues totalling about $103.3 million went toward community services.

This year’s Capital Improvement Program budget included funding for the design phase of the following projects: the new sheriff’s station, the new Canyon Country Community Center, the Saugus Recreation Center and the recently completed Old Town Newhall Parking Structure, according to a statement by Councilman Cameron Smyth, who was mayor in 2017.

About $2.5 million from last year’s Capital Improvement Program budget went toward an Intelligent Transportation System. Under this system, traffic lights were wired to get real time updates to adjust the flow of traffic and alleviate backups. Several city buses were also replaced with brand new ones, Smyth wrote.

As the annual budget includes allocations for services, projects and programs that are also part of the Santa Clarita 2020 plan, interested residents can view the plan at SantaClarita2020.com.

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