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La Palma Council Approves Mid-Year Budget Adjustments

By Rico Dizon

A month after she first presented the mid-year 2014-2015 budget update on February 17, City of La Palma Administrative Services Director Laurie Murray presented a revised version, one that solicited the unanimous approval of the City Council during its regular meeting March 17.

Close observers are of the opinion that this positive development may yet save the city from cutting important community services and escape the anger of La Palma residents. “This is indeed a much improved version of the previous mid-year budget update,” said City Council Member Steve Hwangbo.

Murray’s updated version showed a surplus in place of the $73,000 deficit before.  “My current report included two months of additional data that allowed us to make better projections – both in revenues and expenditures. Although there still exists a revenue shortfall, it is balanced by an increased in expenditure savings and reductions that resulted in a projected small surplus of $5,967 for the fiscal year,” said Murray.

That is almost a $79,000 swing from deficit to surplus.

The report showed a net decrease of $236,423 in budget allocation to the Police Department. Proposed reduction in expenditures totaled $197,566 from the General Fund Expenditures.

Adjustments in the midyear General Fund Budget have resulted to a net increase of $2,200 in Administration services and a $47,330 net increase to community services

Although the projected revenues are still low at $9.5 million, the losses in revenues were offset by increases in certain income areas such as franchise fees, business license, transient occupancy tax, unisource loan payment (ROPS) and billboard.

Revised revenue shortfall now stands at $197,313.

Under the city’s goal update, performance measure highlights included a police response time of two minutes and 8 seconds. Also improved was the crime clearance rate.

Facility rental rate was up 16% and goals were met in terms of the 72-hour graffiti response.

In addition, 225 building permits were issued, while 387 code enforcements inspections performed.

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