City Council to review 2019-2020 proposed operating budget and capital improvement budget

The following is a preview of the June 18 City Council meeting. You may view the full agenda here.

After several budget study sessions, City staff have submitted a resolution adopting the 2019-2020 operating budget and capital improvement program budget to the City Council for review.

The proposed fiscal year 2019-2020 budget for Citywide expenditures of $67,068,090 with three operating fund types: General Fund, Special Revenue Funds and Internal Service Funds. All funds are balanced for 2019-20, but three of the budgeted funds (General Fund, Mission Playhouse and Supplemental Law Enforcement Services Account) will carry prior year deficit fund balances into the year.

Operating Budget

General fund: the General Fund was originally proposed with $41,619,950 in estimated revenue and $41,609,655 in proposed appropriations. The revenue estimates were projected using a realistic conservatism approach but did not include a $750,000 estimate for a successful voter initiative to increase the sales tax rate. Instead, the funds have been replaced with proceeds from the sale of Proposition A funds.

Also included in the proposal is an increase of $50,000 for Fire Services Reimbursement, an increase of $130,000 in Public Works Fees and increases to expenditures of $15,000 and $11,650 to Public Works and Community Development, respectively.

Revenues for fiscal year 2019-20 have been estimated at $41,732,450. Overall, the estimate has decreased by 3% over the 2018-2019 adopted budget but has increased by about 6% over the year end estimate. Much of this increase is related to the sale of Proposition A funds and the transfer in from the Retirement Tax Fund to cover rising retirement costs.

Appropriations are proposed at $41,636,305 and accounts for services such as Police, Fire, Parks, certain Public Works operations, Community Development, Recreation, the City Council, City Clerk, Administration, Finance and Human Resources. Appropriations also support the Mission Playhouse. Overall, public safety represents a top priority for the total General Fund, accounting for 58% of appropriations.

For staffing, the City currently employs 195 employees with a proposed increase to 198. None of the three new positions are funded by the General Fund. The addition of a Project Manager and a Public Works Inspector are proposed to work on CIP projects, with funding paid by project funding and offset by reduction to contract personnel currently performing the work. An increase of Maintenance Worker I/II is also recommended to work on the Fats, Oil and Grease program and would be funded by the Sewer Fund.

The City Council is recommended to conduct an open hearing about the proposed budget and to adopt the 2019-2020 operating budget.

City Council to review construction contract for new storm drain connection for Public Works facility

As the last remaining item of the new Public Works Facility, the permanent storm drain piping connection to the Rubio Wash Channel is now ready to be awarded a construction project. After getting the necessary approvals from Los Angeles County Public Works and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Public Works is now ready to award a construction project to Lee Construction Company for the amount of $68,775 with a construction contingency of $6,877.50 for a total cost of $75,652.50.

Staff from Public Works recommend that the City Council approve the construction contract for a total amount of $75,652.50.

City Council to consider Athens Services rate adjustment

The City has contracted with Athens Services for residential and commercial trash services for the last several years, and in accordance with the contract, the City Council is required to endorse all proposed annual rate adjustments.

For some context, an agreement was approved with Athens Services in 2000 and amended in 2006 and in 2014.

The proposed rate adjustment would mean an increase of $1.10 per month for most residential customers and a $6.79 monthly increase for most commercial customers. The proposed rate increases would take into effect on July 1, 2019.

City Council to review fiscal year 2019-20 investment policy

The City’s investment policy provides guidelines and parameters for the investment of idle cash formulated based on California government code. Once adopted by the City Council, the investment policy sets portfolio management objectives and practices and delegates investment authority to the Finance Director.

This year’s policy has been reformatted to include a title page, a table of contents, two sections to address indemnification and ethics, a conflicts of interests section and several other additions outlined here.

City Council to review Playhouse/Community Services’ request to accept donations and grants

The City’s Community Services department and the Mission Playhouse receive grants, donations and other sources of funding for programs or events throughout the year. In order to accept the funds and to increase budgeting to reflect the donation or grant, City staff must take this item to the City Council for approval.

These grants and donations include the annual Walk to Los Angeles, the KaBOOM! playground build, the ‘Egg’straordinary Spring Celebration, programs at the Adult Recreation Center, APAFEST and Summer in San Gabriel.

City staff from Community Services and the Mission Playhouse recommend that the City council accept the donations and grants and to make the appropriate budgeting changes.

City Council to review resolution for an inferfund loan policy

In a recent audit, the City’s auditors White Nelson Diehl Evans LLP recommended that the City adopt an interfund loan policy to ensure that loans are properly approved. Interfund loans involve the lending of cash from one City fund to another for a specific purpose with a requirement for repayment.

The proposed policy reverses the interfund borrowings needed at June 30 to cover any deficit balances on July 1. This ensures that the loaning fund is allocated based on the appropriate cash balance and that the borrowing fund does not receive interest it is not due.

The policy outlines four types of interfund transactions:

  • Interfund transfers, which are used to permanently transfer funds from one fund to another. These require City Council approval.
  • Interfund loans payable/receivable, which are typically used to internally finance a project to be paid back over multiple years. These also require City Council approval.
  • Due to/due from, which are used to cover short term borrowing from one fund to another. These only require Finance Director approval and City Manager notification since these are necessary to close the books at the end of the year and are temporary in nature. These transactions must also be included in the formal Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) and disclosed to the City Council.
  • Advance to/advance from, which are used for longer-term borrowing from one fund to another. These also require Finance Director approval and a notification to the City Manager. Like the due to/due from policy, these must be included in the formal CAFR.

City Council to review agreement between the Drug Enforcement Agency and the San Gabriel Police Department  

When drug trafficking becomes a major problem in a specific area or region, that area may be designed as a high intensity drug trafficking area (HIDTA) by the Drug Enforcement Agency. The DEA has recognized the Los Angeles region as a HIDTA and has directed federal resources to prosecute drug traffic enterprises in state and federal courts.

San Gabriel currently has two detectives assigned to its Special Enforcement Team, which are responsible for investigating crimes associated with narcotics, vice, criminal street gangs and criminal intelligence. Due to budgetary and personnel constraints, the Special Enforcement Team regularly encounters investigations that are too resource intensive to investigate without the assistance of neighboring agencies.

By partnering with the LA HIDTA task force, the SGPD will be able to access federal resources, including additional investigators, state of the art equipment, technical support and logistical support. Participation in the task force will also allow the SGPD to be eligible for personnel reimbursement and resource acquisition through asset forfeiture funds.

SGPD staff recommend that the City Council assign one investigator to the LA HIDTA task force and to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the DEA.

City Council to review purchase of playground equipment for Vincent Lugo Park

As part of the City’s ongoing efforts to renovate its parks, staff from Community Services are proposing the design and construction of a new playground at Vincent Lugo Park.

The new proposed playground will complement the design of La Laguna, with design features similar to the creatures of La Laguna, while incorporating up-to-date playground features. With equipment from Miracle Recreation Equipment Co, and help from a landscape architect, Public Works will submit a request for proposal for a contractor to install playground equipment purchased by the City at a later date.

Staff from Community Services recommends that the City Council approve the purchase of the playground equipment for $181,882.43.

City Council to preview Pacific Square mixed-use development project at 700-800 South San Gabriel Boulevard

The City Council will be getting a preview of a new mixed-use project at 700-800 South San Gabriel Boulevard. The 700 project would include approximately 38,383 square feet of commercial space with 5,200 square feet of restaurant space, 7,950 square feet of retail space  and a 25,233 square feet fitness center. The 800 Plaza would include 41,604 square feet of commercial space with 7,277 square feet of restaurant space, 13,997 square feet of retail space and 20,330 square feet of grocery market.

For more information about the project, click here.