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Plenty In Reserve as City OKs New Budget

Financial plan also re-funds an Orange County Sheriff's deputy position that had been removed during a previous year's budget.

The City Council approved a $15 million budget Wednesday night with a $165,110 surplus and $15 million in reserves.

“When you read about the other government agencies that are drowning in debts and deficits, you know that’s not us,” said Mayor Tony Beall before the vote on the 2012-13 budget. “One reason why we’ve been successful here is we treat every penny we spend as if it were our own family’s money."

Under the new budget, general fund revenues are estimated at $15,414,265. According to city staff, the largest predicted revenue-makers are sales taxes (27 percent), property taxes in lieu of vehicle license fees (24 percent) and property taxes (14.6 percent).

General fund expenditures are $15,249,155, giving the city a surplus of $165,110. As for reserves, the city has $15,089,601, about 99 percent of the total budget.

“We are still controlling expenditures, and exercising a great deal of fiscal responsibility,” said Paul Boyer, director of administrative services, during his budget presentation.

After the 3-0 budget vote that included Beall, Steve Baric and Carol Gamble, the City Council then approved its annual contract with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

According to the contract, the city will pay $7,289,648 for police services, about 49.7 percent of the city’s budget 2012-13 budget.

The new agreement re-funds a deputy position that had been cut in a previous year’s budget—the “Student Resource Officer” will return as the “Child Safety Officer.”

According to Lt. Brian Schmutz, the officer will have a number of duties including visiting city schools and other places children meet, checking up on registered sex offenders within the city and giving safety presentations to the community.

According to city staff, 29 percent of city residents are under 18.

The OCSD contract costs $176,477 more than last year’s $7,113,171, a 2.48 percent increase.

OTHER BUSINESS

• The council honored three OCSD deputies for . Officials recognized deputies Tim Africano, Dustin Fike and Mike Stout after their June 4 actions prevented the suicide of a 17-year-old boy.

• The council took another step forward on the path to getting an In-N-Out Burger in the city. With a vote of 3-0, officials moved to change the zoning of the area on the northwest corner of the intersection of Santa Margarita Parkway and the 241 Toll Road, a decision which sets the stage for some of the incoming burger joint’s renovation plans.

• The next city council meeting is June 27, 2012, at 7:00 p.m. at City Hall, Council Chambers, 22112 El Paseo.

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