Lake Forest 2018-19 Budget Pays Off Last of City Debt

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City of Lake Forest
Public Information Office

25550 Commercentre Drive, Suite 100
Lake Forest, CA 92630
Phone (949) 461-3400

Fax (949) 461-3574

DATE: July 9, 2018

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jonathan Volzke, Sr. Communications and Marketing Analyst

(949) 282-5214; jvolzke@lakeforestca.gov

Lake Forest 2018-19 Budget Pays Off Last of City Debt

Lake Forest, CA – The City of Lake Forest will be debt free by the end of the year. On June 19, 2018, the City’s $84 million budget was approved unanimously by the City Council.

A highlight of the budget is a $7.2 million payment to retire the City’s only outstanding bonds, which paid for the extension of Alton Parkway. Under the bond agreement, December is the soonest the City can pay off the bonds. Lake Forest is also one of the few in California that has zero unfunded pension liability, meaning the bond pay-off will leave the City completely debt-free.

The City’s budget is comprised of several specialized budgets. The General Fund is the City’s primary account, covering day-to-day operations. The other primary spending plan is the Capital Improvement Budget (CIP), which funds construction and other major projects.

The Fiscal Year 2018-19 Budget also ensures the City has $22.6 million in reserves for its General Fund. The City plans to collect $49 million in General Fund revenues in 2018-19, while spending $47.4 million.

The City’s largest source of revenue remains property taxes, at 33 percent of all revenues, while sales tax revenue generates 28 percent of the budget. The largest single expenditure is the contract with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, which consumes 36 percent of the General Fund budget.

The City’s CIP budget includes $21 million for construction of the Civic Center, the City’s “100 Year Home.” The complex, which includes a Community Center, Senior Center, Performing Arts Center and City Hall, is the first permanent City Hall since Lake Forest incorporated in 1991. The City is paying cash for the $72.7 million project, which is scheduled to end in September 2019.

Another budgeted project: Synchronizing 20 traffic signals on El Toro Road, between Bridger and Ridgeline roads. Total project costs are $1.4 million, with the Orange County Transportation Authority paying 80 percent of the costs. Lake Forest and Mission Viejo will pay the other 20 percent, for the traffic signals in each city. Lake Forest is covering its costs with grants from the Air Quality Management District.

The CIP also includes more than $1.7 million to resurface streets throughout the City. Lake Forest resurfaces streets annually, which not only provides a smooth ride for motorists but prevents more costly road work.

For more information on the City, see www.lakeforestca.gov

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