Sunday, June 14, 2015

City budget looks to the future, Menlo Park

The Almanac News/Sandy Brudage, 6/8/15. "Menlo Park: Council may agree to spend more than city takes in for three years."

Image result for Menlo Park picture
Menlo Park is investing in
new development projects
Image result for Menlo Park picture
We have trees
"Menlo Park's proposed $78.1 million budget for fiscal year 2015-16 may look upside down to some: The city's staff has asked to spend $49.3 million from the general fund, while revenue is projected to lag behind at $48.1 million." The theme for the budget this year is, it's time to invest," City Manager Alex McIntyre told the City Council during a public hearing on June 2.

According to the staff report, that investment entails "ramping up staffing to meet service-level demand for development-related activity, as well as to achieve other Council priorities." ...Money from various reserve funds, such as the capital improvement fund, would be transferred to cover the deficit, which is projected to last through fiscal year 2017-18. At that point projects already in the works, such as the Menlo Gateway complex, are expected to generate enough revenue to overcome the gap, leaving Menlo Park with at least $3.1 million more in revenue than it had in 2015, according to the city manager.

Image result for Menlo Park, CA picture
Train station
....  Councilwoman Kirsten Keith noted that she would like to see the city catch up on the backlog of projects, but raised the specter of layoffs in the future should the economy take another downturn. Mayor Catherine Carlton said she was "loath" to have an unbalanced budget, but that delayed projects get more expensive. There's also an opportunity cost, she said, as developers decide to walk away from Menlo Park and take their proposals to other cities. She asked what the community's return on the investment would be. .... The budget returns to the council for adoption on Tuesday, June 16."  Read More.

Note Menlo Park photographs:  Downtown sign from Bay Citizen/Peninsula Press/Vignesh Ramachandran, 4/17/12. Downtown street from Wikipedia.  Train station from Wikimedia Commons.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

No comments: