YORBA LINDA : City Budget Covers Recreation Projects

The City Council has approved a budget that increases funds for several large recreation projects but otherwise leaves the city's finances largely the same as last year.

The city's overall expenditures will total $34.1 million for fiscal 1995-96, up sharply from spending of $24.5 million for the previous year.

The council approved the budget Tuesday by a 4-1 vote, with Councilman Gene Wisner dissenting. Wisner argued that the city should allocate more money to repair faulty storm drains on Tucana Street and look for ways to cut spending in other areas to compensate for losses in the county investment pool.

The jump in spending for next year is largely due to the capital improvement program, which accounts for more than a third of the total budget for next year and is funded mainly through bond money and Measure M sales tax revenue.

Nearly half, or $6 million, of that will go to street improvements, including work on Imperial Highway and on Yorba Linda Boulevard at the Riverside Freeway. Another $5.7 million will finance park and recreation projects.

The Parks and Recreation Department's budget will jump from about $2.34 million to $2.76 million to fund operations for three athletic and recreational facilities that will open next year: the city gymnasium, Eastside Community Park and Yorba Linda Middle School Sports Fields. The parks and recreation department budget is expected to rise further to $2.9 million in 1996-97.

The parks and recreation department will also add more than half a dozen new full- and part-time employees. Other departments--including finance, the city library and the city clerk's office--will also see slight staff increases, while community development will cut one staff position.

The budget for 1996-97 was projected at $26.4 million. Reserve funds are expected to fall slightly over the next two budget years, from $9 million in 1994-95 to $7.8 million in 1996-97.

Anticipated revenue totals $26.7 million for 1995-96 and $27.5 million for 1996-97. Sales and property taxes, which account for half of the city's revenue, are projected to increase 1% and 2% respectively.

The Redevelopment Agency budget is projected at $27 million in 1995-96 and $26 million in 1996-97.

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