Encinitas board approves spending plan for next fiscal year

Encinitas will set aside $6.5 million to turn the former Pacific View school property into a city arts center in the next fiscal year.

A recently approved city spending plan also includes special funding for the ongoing overhaul of the Leucadia portion of Coastal Highway 101, as well as money to design a train horn quiet zone, make improvements to Rancho Santa Fe Road and add more bike lanes throughout the city.

The city’s new fiscal year begins July 1, and city council members unanimously and enthusiastically approved the budget for the coming year last week.

“It’s balanced,” board member Joe Mosca began, listing the features of the budget. “We have really generous reserves…and that really reflects the priorities of the board…I think this budget really reflects our values.”

Other board members said they fully agreed.

“We’re in a good position, we’ve managed our money well,” said board member Joy Lyndes.

She praised city staffers for their “creative” proposal to borrow money from IBank – the state’s Economic Development and Infrastructure Bank – to fund the Leucadia Streetscape work. The board approved the documents for the $20 million loan earlier in the evening. The loan, which has an interest rate of 3.3%, is to be repaid over a period of 15 years.

Council member Tony Kranz said he was happy to see additional funds in the budget to pay for code enforcement, saying he hoped it would reduce problems with short-term vacation rentals. He also noted that the city was increasing its funding for public safety.

Mayor Catherine Blakespear said the money for renovations to the Pacific View property is proof that Encinitas embraces the arts.

Council approved two budgets Wednesday night — the city’s general fund budget, which covers core city services, and the city’s capital improvement budget, which funds large-scale construction projects.

Encinitas expects to collect $92.3 million in general fund revenue in the next fiscal year. When that figure is adjusted for one-time proceeds from the $20 million IBank loan, estimated revenue is 3.7% — or about $3.3 million — higher than the current fiscal year, notes a City staff report.

Expenditures are expected to total $82.8 million. When that figure is adjusted by $8.1 million to eliminate one-time federal coronavirus funding, city spending is expected to be 4.2% — or $3.3 million — higher than the current fiscal year. , says the report.

The unrestricted end fund balance will be $2.1 million, he adds.

The General Fund budget covers expenditures for public safety, public works, planning and development, park and street maintenance, code enforcement, and administrative services in support of these programs.

The city’s six-year capital improvement spending plan includes $111 million for major construction projects. Of this amount, $22.5 million is expected to be spent over the next fiscal year, including funds for the Pacific View and Streetscape renovation projects.

To view spending plans, visit: https://encinitas.granicus.com/MetaViewer.php?view_id=7&clip_id=2759&meta_id=141378

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