Laguna council to adopt two-year budget Tuesday

The Laguna Beach City Council on Tuesday is expected to adopt the city’s budget for the next two fiscal years, which proposes a 20% general fund reserve of $11.8 million, according to a staff report.

Laguna’s proposed operating and capital projects budget totals $94.2 million for 2017-18 and $96.3 million in 2018-19, the staff report said.

The council held a budget workshop in May and suggested a list of changes, which the city can cover from the general fund, according to the report.

Included in the list are: $300,000 set aside in a reserve for pension costs in 2017-18, $5,000 in one-time fees and $135,000 in both fiscal years for two full-time jailers, the report said. Included in the $135,000 would be $39,400 from money raised through Laguna’s 2% increase in the transient occupancy tax, which voters approved in November, according to the city.

The $300,000 is one of multiple strategies the city identified to help pay down its unfunded pension liability.

The city proposes to contribute $25,000 in both fiscal years for a full-time school resource officer who would be assigned to four Laguna Beach Unified School District campuses and two private schools in the city, provided the district contributes an ongoing $46,000, according to the report.

The proposed two-year budget includes a $135,000 remaining balance in the general fund.

Possible uses of that money include: $115,000 for a full-time finance administrative analyst, $100,000 each for the Laguna Beach Fire Department’s strategic plan and a civilian investigator, according to the report.

Council members at May’s workshop requested increases to police and animal service fees, which would yield an estimated $106,600 per year in revenue, the report said. For example, fingerprinting costs would jump from $15 to $25, while costs to obtain photos and videos would jump from $10 to $40.

Most of the fees have not changed for 10 to 15 years, Police Chief Laura Farinella wrote in a June 7 letter to the city. The adjusted fees would bring them closer to averages of other Orange County cities, including Newport Beach, Santa Ana and Orange, and Chula Vista, Long Beach and Solana Beach, according to the letter.

Tuesday’s meeting begins at 6 p.m.at City Hall, 505 Forest Ave.

bryce.alderton@latimes.com

Twitter: @AldertonBryce

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