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Burbank City Council eyes a revival of Burbank on Parade while split on affordable housing

Before wrapping up its discussion about the upcoming 2019-20 fiscal year budget during a meeting Tuesday, Burbank City Council members were briefed on topics such as how to possibly help organizers bring back the annual Burbank on Parade event and what the city is doing to address an affordable-housing shortfall.

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Judie Wilke, director of the Burbank Parks and Recreation Department, said the city has been without its annual parade for the past two years because of rising safety costs.

Carey Briggs, who was president of Burbank on Parade before the committee dissolved in 2017, previously said the organization was faced with having to spend $60,000 annually to put on the parade, and most of the costs went toward public safety.

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Wilke said the city had been chipping in $10,000 to help offset costs, as well as pay for street closures, but the overtime rates the Burbank Police Department charged for the parade eventually became too much for organizers.

“While the city and Burbank on Parade worked over the last few years to try and determine a different route or a better route, the fact of the matter is … it was still too much for them to generate in donations to make the parade work,” Wilke said.

Wanting to bring back the annual parade, the City Council unanimously voted to allocate an additional $22,000 annually — $32,000 total — toward Burbank on Parade to see if that amount would be enough to help organizers.

While council members were willing to approve extra funds to help resuscitate Burbank on Parade, they would not agree on setting aside additional former redevelopment agency funds to help pay for affordable housing.

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Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy suggested the city take 25% instead of 20% of redevelopment funds, which the city currently spends, to help pay for housing projects.

However, City Manager Ron Davis said that doing so would give the city less funding to address its infrastructure costs.

The council did not make a motion on Gabel-Luddy’s suggestion.

“We all agreed to work on infrastructure,” Councilman Bob Frutos said, adding that using redevelopment funds to address the city’s housing needs isn’t the right move at this point but might be beneficial down the road.

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