On Monday June 16, 2014, the City Council adopted a balanced Fiscal Year 2014-2015 General Fund Budget.
Through a series of budget workshops, Budget Subcommittee meetings, and measures taken by the City Council and staff, the City of Los Alamitos was able to close a General Fund Budget “gap” or General Fund Expenditures in excess of General Fund Revenues of more than $500,000 to achieve a balanced budget with a slight surplus of just over $4,000 heading into FY 2014-2015.
The General Fund gap closures include a combination of revenue enhancements such as the creation of a parking district which will include charging for parking throughout various sections of the City; partnering with a private property landowner to create billboard advertising revenue; and diversifying the City’s investment portfolio. Expenditure reductions include paying off a side fund of Cal PERS long-term liability; eliminate funding for donated services at special events; passing along credit card charges to consumers; and making citywide cuts in appropriations without sacrificing the outstanding level of service provided.
The City Council has also taken action to establish fund balance reservations of the General Fund that will pave the way for both short-term and long-term fiscal sustainability. Included in these new reservations is a new Internal Service Fund that sets aside funding for future Police Capital Expenditures.
Staff has also presented a list of next steps to be undertaken in the first two quarters of FY 2014-2015. One of the Council’s first priorities on this list is to bring back a Fund Balance Reserve policy of the General Fund for a budget workshop. Other steps will be to bring back a recommendation for the development of solid self-sustaining internal service funds.
Based on the actions Council has already taken this year to balance this year’s budget by establishing an additional ongoing revenue stream combined with future steps that will be taken to develop and approve a fund balance reserve policy, this Council has paved the road for the future by developing a long-term fiscal sustainability plan.