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Huntington Beach City Council holding public hearing on 2021-22 budget

The Huntington Beach City Council will move back to in-person meetings as of Tuesday night.
(Raul Roa / Staff Photographer)

A new day of the week, a new venue and a new fiscal year budget will all greet the Huntington Beach City Council on Tuesday.

The Council is moving its meetings from Mondays to Tuesdays, starting next week. Also, the meetings will no longer be virtual for the first time in 2021.

The seven City Council members will meet at City Hall at 6 p.m. Tuesday as COVID-19 restrictions continue to loosen. Additionally, 50 members of the public will be allowed to attend in person.

Those wishing to attend in person must either wear a mask, provide evidence of COVID-19 vaccination or provide either a negative COVID-19 PCR test from the past 48 hours or a same-day negative rapid antigen test.

A public hearing on the 2021-22 fiscal year budget will take place. The proposed budget was first delivered to the City Council by City Manager Oliver Chi on May 11. It was discussed, along with the five-year capital improvement program, at a City Council study session on May 17.

The proposed 2021-22 fiscal year budget is $424.4 million, an 18% increase over the 2020-21 adopted all funds budget of $359 million.

According to a staff report prepared by city Chief Financial Officer Dahle Bulosan, a large portion of the increase is due to added investment in essential infrastructure and equipment, restoration of COVID-19 temporary cost-saving measures and the establishment of a pension liability fund.

General fund revenue is projected at $228 million, with large increases expected in sales tax and transient occupancy tax revenues.

“Most of the increases from these two revenue sources are attributable to the projected positive impacts resulting from widespread COVID-19 vaccinations, loosening public health orders and the reopening of businesses for indoor dining and shopping,” the report reads.

The proposed budget includes 962.25 full-time equivalent employees, which is an increase of four employees.

The new positions include an administrative aide and administrative analyst in the Public Works department, a principal administrative analyst in the Administrative Services department and a deputy director of homeless and behavioral services.

The city charter requires the public hearing before the budget can be adopted. It also requires that the budget be adopted by June 30, prior to the fiscal year beginning on July 1.

For those not in attendance, Tuesday’s meeting can be watched on channel HBTV-3 or online at huntingtonbeach.legistar.com. Residents may send comments on agenda items to supplementalcomm@surfcity-hb.org.

Communications received by 2 p.m. Tuesday will be distributed to the council prior to consideration of agenda-related items.

Residents are encouraged to submit comments during the meeting via Zoom, though in-person attendees will speak first. The Webinar ID is 971 5413 0528 and can be reached via the Zoom app or by calling (669) 900-6833 and entering the ID.

Individuals will be placed in a holding queue and prompted to speak when the city clerk announces their name or the last three digits of their phone number.

Time for remarks is limited to three minutes.

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