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Huntington Beach city budget plan prioritizes public safety; includes spending for new homeless shelter

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The Huntington Beach City Council voted in April to buy a warehouse at 15311 Pipeline Lane for use as a homeless shelter.
(File Photo)

Despite flat revenue forecasts in some key areas, the Huntington Beach City Council on Monday will consider adopting a slightly larger budget for the next fiscal year that prioritizes public safety.

The proposed $381.2 million plan, which is 2% greater than the current budget, forecasts stagnant revenue from sales taxes and other sources, as well as rising pension costs.

If approved by the council, the fiscal 2019-20 budget would take effect July 1.

The general fund — the portion of the budget that pays for a majority of city services — totals $231.8 million, a 1.5% increase over the current fiscal year.

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About $127.9 million — or 55% — of the general fund is dedicated to public safety. Some of that funding would go toward replacing aging equipment, the Fire Department’s Junior Lifeguard program, as well as improving the Police Department’s deteriorating headquarters.

Infrastructure would receive 15% of the general fund to assist with street and neighborhood rehabilitation projects and park and facility improvements, including the development of the planned Pipeline Lane homeless shelter, which will be located on a property the City Council agreed to purchase in April.

City Finance Manager Carol Molina-Espinoza told the City Council May 6 to budget about $1.3 million for first-year shelter costs.

She recommended the city delay a debt service payment, pull money from a special fund and utilize grants to help with the expense.

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Monday’s meeting starts at 6 p.m. at City Hall, 2000 Main St.

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