$144.6-million budget approved for Costa Mesa


Costa Mesa has a new $144.6-million budget.

The City Council, with member Katrina Foley absent, signed off Tuesday night on the spending plan for the 2016-17 fiscal year, which starts July 1.

“I’m proud of staff for putting this together,” Mayor Steve Mensinger said. “We’re moving forward with a lot of great stuff.”

The budget is balanced, maintains or enhances current city services and uses “realistic and usually conservative revenue forecast assumptions,” according to Stephen Dunivent, the city’s interim finance director.


“I note that our projected spending is down from last year, and this is the first budget in several years where we’re going in not anticipating spending more than we’re taking in,” Councilwoman Sandy Genis said.

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Overall, the budget is about $9.6 million smaller than the current one, largely the result of less spending on capital improvement projects.

About $16 million will be spent on things such as streets, sidewalks, parks and buildings, compared with nearly $25.8 million in the current fiscal year.

In his budget message, city Chief Executive Tom Hatch wrote that “most projects are funded by restricted revenue sources or grants” and, as a result, the number of projects approved or dollars budgeted can vary widely from year to year.

Genis asked if the budget reviewed Tuesday was structured so the city would have the flexibility to deal with a possible economic downturn.

Hatch said Costa Mesa has taken steps in recent years to prepare for that, including stockpiling reserves and building contingencies into the budget.

The city is “in a much better position in case the economy shrinks,” he said.


Luke Money,

Twitter: @LukeMMoney


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