Extra cash in city coffers being put back into community

New locker rooms and restrooms will be built at the Corona del Mar High School pool, just one of many back-burner projects benefiting from extra city funding recently made available.

The $338,000 contribution to the Newport-Mesa Unified School District, requested by City Manager Dave Kiff, draws from higher-than-expected revenues in Newport Beach this fiscal year, coupled with last year's budget surplus.

The City Council on Tuesday appropriated more than $14 million to help pay for a wide array of improvements throughout the city, such as the locker rooms.

Most of the money — $12 million — came from a revenue surplus in the general fund in fiscal year 2012-13.

Another $1.2 million came from other funds like the IT strategic, lifeguard headquarters and tidelands funds, according to a staff report.

Of the $2.82 million in increased revenue estimates, the city appropriated $1.1 million. The money came from increased property tax estimates, plus more sales and hotel bed taxes from an improved economy.

The funding, which had not yet been given a specific budgetary use, will contribute to a wide array of needs, including a general liability fund, retiree health insurance and city improvement projects.

Municipal projects that will benefit include expansion of the LED streetlight conversion, Ocean Boulevard pavement replacement and concrete alley replacement in Newport Heights. Reforestation efforts and park re-landscaping will also get extra support.

The Fire Department will receive funding for paramedic emergency services, lifeguard dispatch equipment and facilities maintenance.

"The council has made it clear to me that they want to see more and more money going back into the community, so that's what I'm proposing to do with almost all of the surplus and the increased revenue," Kiff wrote in an email last week.

As part of the budget amendments, the council also created a new facilities maintenance division in the Municipal Operations Department, which will be staffed by the current facilities maintenance crew chief, four facilities maintenance technicians and one electrician from the field maintenance division, according to the staff report.

By the Numbers

The cost of the proposed general fund expenditures include:

•Corona del Mar Pool Locker Room: $338,000

•Reforestation and Park Improvements: $500,000

•Ocean Boulevard Concrete Pavement: $2.5 million

•LED Streetlights: $750,000

•Newport Heights Concrete Alleys: $1 million

•Community Paramedicine: $141,306

•Lifeguard CAD/RMS and Dispatch Equipment: $330,270

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