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City Adopts Balanced 2018-19 Budget

Post Date:06/20/2018 11:30 AM

On Tuesday night, the San Luis Obispo City Council adopted its 2018-19 supplemental budget. The $153 million budget, which includes the general fund and enterprise funds, addresses increased pension costs while maintaining service levels that continue to support a high quality of life for the community.

The adopted budget also implements the City’s Fiscal Health Response Plan (FHRP). The City Council adopted this plan to address the increased costs for participation in the CalPERS retirement system. Specifically, the plan outlines actions to address the City’s projected $8.9 million pension budget gap over the next three years. In addition, the plan seeks to ensure fiscal sustainability and reduces costs with minimal service level impacts to the community. For 2018-19, the first year of the plan's three-year time frame, each City Department applied the FHRP to their budgets. As a result, the 2018-19 budget identifies more than $1.4 million in new revenues, new ways of doing business, and operating reductions.

The adopted budget provides funding for a number of significant safety improvements and major road work in the southern portion of the City this summer including Laurel Lane. These projects will improve road conditions, enhance bicycle and pedestrian safety and improve ADA accessibility. The budget also includes the appropriation of nearly $1.3 million in funding for the Downtown Safety Project – installation of protective barriers at prominent entry points to Downtown.

The public had an opportunity to review and comment on the proposed budget at the June 5 City Council meeting. In response to public comment received, regarding neighborhood safety, Council directed staff to increase funding for new street lighting projects. As a result, a total of $70,000 has been allocated for 2018-19 for the installation of new street lighting and other measures to enhance street illumination. This capital investment will be complimented by additional actions including education and outreach in the neighborhoods to enhance pedestrian safety.

Other key funding items include continued protection and maintenance of the City’s natural resources and trails, acquisition of new open space lands, and new park amenities; and preserving essential services that support public safety, infrastructure enhancements and maintenance, water and wastewater services, transit, and planning and development services.

“The City Council has adopted a balanced budget that maintains our investment in important projects and services to the community,” said Mayor Heidi Harmon.

City Manager Derek Johnson added, “I want to thank City staff for their diligent work to implement the Fiscal Health Response Plan into the 2018-19 Budget – a true demonstration of our commitment to be fiscally sustainable.”

The adopted 2018-19 Budget Supplement has a balance above policy reserve and shows that major City goals including: Fiscal Sustainability & Responsibility, Climate Action, Multi-Modal Transportation and Housing are on course.

More information about the 2018-19 budget is available here.  The 2018-19 Budget in Brief is available here.

CONTACT: Derek Johnson, City Manager
djohnson@slocity.org, (805) 781-7114