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LA VERNE, CA – At its adjourned meeting on May 2, the La Verne City Council met in a study session to review and discuss the City’s preliminary Fiscal Year (FY) 2022-23 budget. Currently, the City is in solid financial standing with an estimated surplus of $769,000 and a strong General Fund heading into the new fiscal year. The City Council analyzed projected growth in property tax and sales tax and explored the potential to add City staff to various departments, including La Verne Fire Department (LVFD).
“It has not been easy navigating through the fiscal challenges brought on by the pandemic,” said Mayor Tim Hepburn, “We are extremely pleased to head into the next fiscal year with a strong budget that gives us an opportunity to expand our programs and services in order to better serve our community. This would not have been possible without our staff’s dedication and countless hours of hard work.”
In April, Council reviewed the City’s Mid-Year Budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2021-2022 and approved the reallocation of $101,816 back into the General Fund reserves. The City is expected to use $1.8 million to cover salary adjustments, which balances the City’s budget and maintains critical operations. Measure LV, a sales tax measure adopted in March 2020, is also expected to generate $4.6 million annually and will be added to the reserves to extend employee benefits and compensation based on merit.
The General Fund for FY 22-23 is projected to have a four percent growth in property tax, and recreation programs are expected to generate 60% more revenue because the City is now able to take on programs that had been scaled back in previous years due to COVID-19. Additionally, LVFD revenue is expected to be about $200,000 higher due to inspections and other anticipated revenue.
Through the reallocation of funds from a vacant position, the City will reorganize their information technology systems by hiring a full-time tech position and using remaining dollars for contractual support. A Deputy Chief position will also be added to LVFD to provide much needed higher level administrative support for the department. Though this is a significant undertaking, filling these positions are necessary for the fire department to build upon and maintain its strong foundation.
La Verne also intends to invest in its operational needs by allocating funds for 17 vehicles and new equipment for LVFD, La Verne Police Department and Public Works. To further enhance the City’s infrastructure, $250,000 will be allocated from the General Fund toward the Capital Improvement Program (CIP). Additionally, $1.5 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds were also allocated to the CIP, ensuring projects are fully funded through FY 27-28.
Council is also considering a partnership with LA High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), a local task force for drug-related events and activities, to provide financial support for their area initiatives. HIDTA is a federal program that is managed at the local level, and its funding is required to be routed through a federal agency. If approved, the City of La Verne will fund LA HIDTA activities and will be reimbursed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP).
A more detailed budget for FY 22-23 will be presented to Council on Monday, June 6, which will also include further discussion on LVFD and LVPD’s budget and other important community topics, such as homeless outreach. A formal budget adoption by the City Council will take place at its June 20 meeting, authorizing official approval for the new fiscal year beginning July 1.
Contact: Marla Pendleton, Finance DirectorTelephone: (909) 596-8716