Council has more budget money than expected
Plenty of snow and a strengthening economy mean good things for city coffers.
With actual revenues higher than originally anticipated in this year’s budget, the South Lake Tahoe City Council Tuesday approved a budget increase.
That means things such as new office chairs, a swimming pool vacuum for the Recreation Complex, some overtime pay for the police department, money for lights on Pioneer Trail, and approval of a whole slew of other requests that were previously delayed for lack of funds.
As a result of this council approval, the general fund is being increased by $217,641, the airport budget by $80,023 and Housing and Economic Development budget by $101,373.
Also, a larger-than-usual general fund carry-over – the difference between last year’s revenues and expenses – was approved by the council and assigned to a long list of capital improvement projects.
“We made a lot of cuts last year and because of that we plan to use the difference between our revenue and our expenses to fund these capital improvement projects,” said Robert Porfiri, city accounting manager. “The general fund carry-over is mostly larger this year – $1,621,402 – because of all those cuts. Allocating these funds to capital improvement projects is a safe thing to do because you know exactly how much money you have and it’s a one-time purchase.”
City departments requested $2.4 million in capital improvement projects, of which $800,000 were eliminated after a series of staff evaluations.
“It was a real pleasure to deal with dividing up the extra money,” said Councilman Hal Cole, who was on the project approval subcommittee. “It was rare not to have to cut.”
The projects include such work as replacing the Recreation Complex roof, landscaping El Dorado Beach and the Trout Creek restoration and wildlife enhancement project.
Beside assigning money to new capital improvement projects, the council also approved, after some debate, nearly $90,000 for South Lake Tahoe promotional organizations such as the Chamber of Commerce and Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority.
Council also approved stashing away $200,000 for future infrastructure improvements and repairs.
“Basically we’re saying, ‘Don’t spend $200,000 and put it aside in case the economy goes the other way,'” Porfiri said. “Next year, if possible, we’ll put even more into the infrastructure fund.”
The total capital improvement budget for fiscal year 1998-’99 is $5,990,825, and this includes new capital improvement projects, current projects, promotional allocations, lease fees and the new infrastructure replacement reserve fund.
In further council business:
– Designation of May 1999 as Disability Awareness Month.
– First of two readings for city code sections relating to zoning and design standards.
– Authorization of Mayor Judy Brown to sign an agreement between the city of South Lake Tahoe and Northwest Hydraulic Consultants, Inc., for engineering services for the Rocky Point Erosion Control Project.
– First reading of an ordinance prohibiting certain liquid containers at the state-line area on New Year’s Eve that would match the policy in Douglas County.
– A resolution denying a $5 million claim from Michael Shawn Fulton for back pain incurred while washing meat juice from a city trash bin off his dog.
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SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The city of South Lake Tahoe is taking its first step towards addressing transit issues after the council gave staff feedback on contracting with a consultant during their Tuesday meeting.