CITY HALL — City Council has a lot on the agenda this Tuesday night. As the Daily Press wrote about previously, council will consider moving forward with restrictions on electronic cigarettes and a ballot measure designed to compete with a ballot measure financed by a national aviation advocacy group.
But that’s not all.
They have to approve the 2014-15 budget. Council builds a new budget every two years, and the framework of the current budget was approved last year. Before they move into the two-year budget’s second half, which starts on July 1, City Hall has a chance to make some alterations.
Proposed is a $44.7 million – 8.1 percent – increase in spending from the original plan. City Hall’s proposal will cost $574.1 million.
The increase, according to city finance officials, is “primarily due to grant-funded capital projects, cost of healthcare law implementation, joint public safety center one-time start up, living wage adjustments, and new programs, including the traffic management pilot program for the Downtown area.”
Projected revenues are up as well, according to City Hall. Last year they were expecting 2014-15 to generate about $555.4 million. Now they’re projecting $581 million. The revenue increase is “primarily due to grant revenue for citywide and bus capital projects and increased General Fund tax and parking revenues,” city officials said.
If approves as proposed by City Hall, The Pico Youth and Family Center (PYFC), would get $190,000 not allotted in the planned budget. In the past, City Hall has given the PYFC $225,000 but the nonprofit recently received a $1.6 million contribution from the Bergmann Estate.
“City-funded non-profits receive grants which support between 1 percent and 19 percent of their overall agency budgets,” city officials said in the budget report. “The recommended funding level represents 55 percent of PYFC’s operating expenses based on PYFC’s average program expenditures over the last 14 years.”
While the Planning Commission preps the new Zoning Ordinance for council’s approval later this year, an Interim Zoning Ordinance dictates land use in the city.
City planners are proposing two amendments to that interim ordinance, which will be in affect until the new Zoning Ordinance and the Downtown Specific Plan are approved.
One amendment would establish exercise facilities that meet certain criteria as a permitted use in the Downtown area.
The second amendment would establish ground-level outdoor dining areas up to 200 square feet that meet certain criteria in sections of the Main Street neighborhoods as exempt from some density requirements and requirements to provide additional parking for the outdoor dining spaces.
Business establishments seeking these exemptions would currently be required to go through City Hall’s development agreement process.
Council will consider amending its Municipal Code to align with Los Angeles’ Industrial Waste Control Ordinance and comply with federal and state standards.
The Federal Clean Water Act requires that City Hall adopt and enforce an industrial pretreatment program at least as stringent as the program adopted by L.A. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Board audit City Hall’s program every couple years.
“Some of the major audit findings from recent audits include requests that the City modify its permits to include notification information, enhance sampling or monitoring methods, and increase the penalty amounts to deter future violations,” city officials said.
They propose more than a dozen changes that, they say, are necessary to avoid noncompliance with the current regulatory framework.