At their June 8, 2021 meeting, Lakewood City Council Members made mid-cycle adjustments to the two-year budget that runs from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2022. Lakewood’s budget remains balanced in its focus and priorities, with almost equal spending on recreation and community services, public works and public safety (each constitute about 25% of the city budget).
“The good news is that our city has weathered the economic effects of COVID better than many other communities,” said City Manager Thaddeus McCormack.
“That’s largely because our local economy is not based on tourism, but instead on spending by residents of Lakewood and nearby cities who come to Lakewood to shop. And they’ve continued to shop here throughout the pandemic.
“The benefits of Measure L for Lakewood have also kicked in over the past year,” said McCormack. “The bottom line is that Lakewood is on track to where we wanted to be with Measure L in terms of being able to now start repairing and improving our parks, community buildings and city infrastructure…and to also make some strategic enhancements to other important services to residents.”
The mid-cycle budget adjustments for the year ahead include these features:
$3 million for repairs and improvements to parks and community buildings. Lakewood has a $30 million backlog in repairs and renovations for its aging community buildings and parks, and these projects were a key feature of Measure L.
Initial projects this year will include:
- New picnic shelters and tot lot playground for San Martin Park.
- Bathroom renovations at Rynerson Park.
- Renovations to the outdated roofs and electrical systems at Biscailuz, Bloomfield and San Martin park community buildings.
An additional traffic safety Deputy Sheriff. The new deputy will provide more traffic safety coverage throughout the city and a greater ability to prevent distracted driving, driving under the influence, the running of stop signs, and other unsafe driving. Funding for the new position became available because the Sheriff’s Department annual cost increase to Lakewood was less than expected, freeing up funds the city could use for this new position.
$800,000 budget surplus projected for the upcoming fiscal year. The surplus is very strategic and was part of the rationale for Measure L. Lakewood needs the surplus in the early years of Measure L in order to pay down long-term costs, including infrastructure repairs, so that the city can extend the benefits of Measure L for many years into the future.
“We promised that Measure L would keep Lakewood in good shape for the long term,” said McCormack, “and we are off to a good start in making that a reality. We are led in that cause by our City Council, and helped by the members of the Lakewood community who sit on our Measure L Citizens Oversight Committee.”