Santa Paula, CA – For the first time in its history, the City of Santa Paula has proposed and passed a balanced two-year budget for FY 2021-2022 and FY 2022-2023. Doing so enables the City to better plan for both short and long-term community goals and priorities, ultimately making Santa Paula a better place to live, work and play.
In the past month, the City hosted two budget workshops on June 2 and June 9 to provide Council with an overview of anticipated revenues and a detailed analysis of the City’s expenditures and department priorities. Community members had the opportunity to provide feedback and help inform budget priorities at both of these budget workshops as well as the Special City Council meeting for the budget adoption which took place on June 23, 2021.
The City’s finances fared much better than expected throughout the coronavirus pandemic, and the City plans to maintain its financial health moving into the newly adopted two-year budget thanks to development activity in East Area 1. Although one-time revenue streams that benefited the City in FY 2020-2021, such as CARES Act funding, are not expected to occur again in the coming years, the City continues to see increases in other development related activity revenue over the next few years. Additionally, while the City’s two-year budget includes partial funding available from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), further council discussion and action will be needed to solidify the use of ARPA funds. This means that the City should be able to then use these funds for new programs and initiatives that will help benefit the residents of the City of Santa Paula.
The City continues to prioritize the maintenance and growth of City reserves for truly unexpected costs, future financial obligations and unexpected challenges such as what was seen this past year with the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are very proud and thankful for the City’s Finance Department’s hard work to create a thoughtful, forward-looking and, most importantly, balanced budget,” said Santa Paula Mayor Carlos Juarez. “We will continue to strategically utilize our funds in order to provide the best possible services and programming to our community.”
Separate from the City’s General Fund budget, the City also reported on the Measure T fund expenditures and revenues. The City’s Measure T Oversight Committee, which is currently composed of four local residents, submitted their formal recommendations to the City Council on Wednesday, May 5 regarding the sales tax’s allocation. Per the sales tax ordinance that passed in 2016, the funding should be allocated towards the City’s street and road repair, public safety and youth programming. The Committee proposed that the projected $7.9 million generated from Measure T in FY 2021-2022 and FY 2022-2023 be divided as 30% toward the capital improvements program and one time street-related expenditures; 15% toward the City’s Parks and Recreation department’s salaries and benefits, supplies and services and one-time expenses; and 55% toward the City’s Police Department’s salaries and benefits and one-time expenses. The City also plans to set aside $60,000 and $20,000 from the Measure T funds for the City’s General Reserve Fund for FY 2021-2022 and FY 2022-2023, respectively.