Background photo by C.E.H. Wiedel. City seal courtesy of the City of Los Alamitos.

Los Alamitos Council to conduct mid-year budget review at March 15 meeting

According to the posted agenday, the Los Alamitos City Council will receive and review the City’s budget so far for fiscal year 2020-2021 at the Council’s regular meeting on Monday, March 15, 2021.

Three months after the official State decree regarding COVID-19 limitation and precautions, the City Council adopted a budget that was balanced by significantly reducing the City’s workforce, cutting pay for remaining City employees, and shutting down selected City programs and services. The cuts required to balance the budget came to about $1.3 million.

Passage of a local sales tax increase, Measure Y, during the November 2020 general election is estimated to potentially bring $4.1 million annually above prior sales tax revenue, funds that will be locally controlled. The City estimates that about one-quarter of that amount, or $1.025 million — not enough to fully cover the amount needed to forego all the cuts approved earlier in the year by the Council.

The report submitted by Interim Finance Director Craig Koehler emphasizes the ongoing uncertainty in economic conditions brought about by the pandemic. Although signs point to a rebound, no one can say how swift or how broad the recovery will be.

More uncertainly surrounds possible relief from the recently passed federal COVID-19 legislation. As a non-entitle community with fewer than 50,000 residents, the report says that the City may anticipate receiving about $2,145,612 in federal funds — but when the funds will be received and how they may be used is not yet known.

The full report is included in the meeting agenda posted on the City website.

The meeting will be held according to COVID-19 safety protocols:

Pursuant to Executive Orders and given the current health concerns, members of the public may not attend the meeting in person. Members of the public can access the meeting by phone by dialing +1 (301) 715-8592 and enter the Meeting ID: 879 0050 4819. Your microphone will be disabled upon entry for the duration of the meeting.