By Terry Miller
During Monday’s Pasadena City Council meeting, council approved an increase in next year’s appropriations. The General Fund will be $274.4 million and the total appropriations rest at $872.5 million.
The Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Adopted Budget totaled $816.7 million overall. This included an operating budget of $658.4 million, capital appropriations of $83.4 million and appropriations of $74.8 million for the city’s three operating companies—Rose Bowl Operating Company, Pasadena Center Operating Company and Pasadena Community Access Corporation.
As of FY 2020, the city’s FTE (full time equivalent positions) total now includes previously “non-budgeted” positions (56.00 FTE municipal assistance, solutions, and hiring (MASH) trainees, 8.00 FTE Firefighter trainees, 12.42 FTE Retirees). There are no appropriations budgeted for these positions – only the FTE authorization to meet ERP system requirements.
Pasadena’s local economy continues to perform well, according to staff reports with the latest unemployment rate at 4% compared to Los Angeles County as a whole which was at 4.7%. Commercial development continues to be robust. The Constance Hotel completed its final phase which includes a pool deck, dining and special event space. The 179 room Hyatt Place hotel celebrated a ribbon cutting and welcomed new guests in mid-December 2018 bringing a welcome addition to the Paseo block, just in time for New Year’s. And, there are potential plans for up to as many as four other new hotels in the city. Additionally, Transient Occupancy Tax related to short-term rentals has performed slightly better than expected, with annual receipts of roughly $700,000.
In the Capital Improvement Program Budget staff recommended the following priorities:
- Replacement of 9-1-1 emergency communications equipment – $2 million recommended, total project cost estimate $8 million.
- Replacement of Fire Station #37 – $1.5 million recommended, total project cost estimate $21.3 million.
- Fire Station renovations and improvements – $1.5 million recommended, total project estimate cost $3 million.
- Citywide facility improvements (Jackie Robinson Community Center and La Pintoresca Library) – $1 million.
- High-voltage street light replacement/conversion – $1 million, total project cost estimate $11.5 million.
- Colorado Street Bridge suicide prevention barriers – $750,000, total project cost estimate $3 million.
- City Hall building security management – $625,000, total project cost estimate $1 million.
- Fire alarm and sprinkler system for Central Library – $500,000, total project cost estimate $1,050,000.
- ADA sidewalk improvements/replacement – $500,000 additional funding to be added to $1 million annual General Fund contribution and $500,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding.