SAN FERNANDO : Proposed Budget Calls for No Layoffs

Faced with the expected loss of at least $100,000 in state funding, city officials have proposed a preliminary budget that calls for little or no growth in city programs and no layoffs.

"It's a matter of trying to maintain a level of service without layoffs and without further spreading the hurt to residents and businesses. That's a very delicate balancing act," City Administrator Mary Strenn said.

Finance Director Mike Moon characterized the $18.3-million spending plan for fiscal 1993-94, presented Monday to the City Council, as a "hold-our-own budget."

During the first of three workshops, Police Chief Dominick Rivetti outlined the department's $4.4-million budget request, stressing that graffiti and gang enforcement will continue to be priorities. The proposed budgets for public works, community services and redevelopment will be discussed during workshops scheduled May 24 and June 1. The council is slated to adopt the budget in late June.

In a related action, the council decided to pay for three capital improvement projects by selling bonds and passing the costs along to property owners.

Mike Drake, the city's public works director, said the sale of $11 million in bonds this summer will help pay for the city's share of sewer improvements to the Hyperion Treatment Plant in Los Angeles. He said a parcel charge will be added to property tax bills to pay for the purchase of additional sewer capacity at Hyperion, where the city treats its sewage.

A third project, the upgrading of the city's aging water-distribution system, will be paid for by annual water-rate increases averaging 9.7% for residential users, Drake said. The proposed rate increases and parcel charge will not become final until a public hearing is held in July.

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