Laguna Beach ended up with an unexpected $3 million to spend this week, which the City Council decided to spend on one-time purchases and allocations, according to the Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot newspaper.
City Manager John Pietig disclosed the unexpected revenue during Tuesday’s City Council meeting, saying it is the result of improvements in the local economy.
“Fortunately, during this past year the [economic] recovery brought higher-than-expected revenue in property taxes, sales taxes, bed taxes and community development fees,” Pietig said, according to the Coastline Pilot.
The city’s one-time expenditures will include emergency repairs to sewers, a new fire engine and an improved document system so residents can more easily view city records from home, the newspaper reported.
While a former city committee member urged the council to save much of the extra money, the council opted to spend all but $172,000, according to the newspaper.
From the Coastline Pilot story:
Pietig warned that the city still faces financial challenges.
There had been a projected operating deficit for fiscal year 2011-12 of $934,000. But it was cut by almost 45% when labor agreements were negotiated with the police and firefighters’ associations, and the Disaster and Revenue Smoothing funds are still intact. City officials would like to keep it that way.
Expenditures in the 2012-13 budget are expected to remain flat, and modest revenue growth is predicted in the upcoming years. However, city officials presume that additional cost-saving measures or substantial increases in revenue will be necessary to cover any deficit.
The state budget will continue to impact the city, as will the investment returns to the state pension system for government employees.