City Council Approves Operating, Capital Improvement Program In 2024-25 Budget

July 2, 2024 ·

Photo by Media Modifier via Unsplash.

SANTA MONICA—The Santa Monica City Council on June 25, adopted the Fiscal Year 2024-2025 operating and Capital Improvement Program, or CIP, budget, continuing to invest in key priorities of public safety, addressing homelessness, sustainability, mobility and inclusive policies and programs.

As part of the budget adoption, the City Council directed city staff to schedule a study session to explore what is needed to further deal with public safety and homelessness in the region and discuss revisions to the budget to reallocate resources accordingly.

Tuesday’s action included approval of updates to the 2024-2025 operating budget, the second year in the approved biennial Fiscal Year 2023-2025 Operating Budget.

The $765.3 million operating and CIP budget for 2024-2025 includes $1.8 million of adjustments in support of public safety and economic recovery based on council direction at the May 28, 2024, budget study session, as well as allocation of grant funds to support homelessness programs.

Adjustments include:

  • The addition of four police officer positions.
  • A one-year waiver along with a second-year reduction on outdoor dining fees for businesses on the Third Street Promenade.
  • Enhancements to the city’s security camera program.
  • Investments in mobility, road safety and transit, including enhancements to unsignalized intersections.

The budget reflects key investments in the five community priority areas of 1) Clean & Safe, 2) Addressing Homelessness, 3) Sustainable & Connected, 4) Justice, Equity & Diversity and 5) Economic Growth and Cultural Vitality.

The overall budget is balanced and funds key initiatives and projects such as:

  • Ongoing resources to address homelessness, including a contract with The Salvation Army for drug abuse treatment services and funding for the completion and implementation of the citywide Homelessness Strategic Plan.
  • Expanded operating hours for the Homeless Liaison Program (HLP) Team in the Police Department.
  • $119 million for police and crime prevention, including increased deployments of the mobile command post and build-out of the Real Time Crime Center. With the four additional officers added in this year’s budget, the City Council has allocated resources for 11 new police officers over the past two fiscal years.
  • Enhanced recruitment efforts to fill Police Department vacancies.
  • Creation of a small business assistance and tenant improvement fund and streamlining the city’s permitting processes.

In addition to approving the first year’s budget for the CIP, the Santa Monica City Council moved forward a $194.7 million FY 2024-2026 Biennial Capital Improvement Program plan. It will make way for safety cameras and other public safety improvements, transit upgrades, parks and community services, tree planting and other key infrastructure projects in the next two years.

The two-year CIP includes projects funded by 22 different sources, including enterprise funds that get revenue from rates and fees, such as the Water Fund, as well as tax revenues from voter-approved ballot measures, federal and state funding.

Capital projects slated for the next two years include:

  • $29 million to begin the Pier Bridge replacement project
  • $11.95 million in street and sidewalk maintenance
  • $6.45 million to construct two groundwater recharge wells to recycle water collected through the newly operational Sustainable Water Infrastructure Project (SWIP)
  • $4.77 million for the completion of the Wilshire Transportation Safety Project
  • $1 million for streetlight modernization
  • $2.1 million for a new playground at Virginia Avenue Park
  • $500,000 for tree planting and landscape improvements as part of the Urban Forest Master Plan
  • $450,000 for the completion of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan
  • $850,000 to complete a new community garden on 19th Street

Santa Monica restored many services and such investments in the community, approved during the FY 2023-2025 budget, have positioned the city to maintain progress toward addressing community needs.

City staff plans to continue to seek additional revenues, grant funds, reimbursements and other resources to expedite restoring reserves and fund additional capital projects and service restorations. For more information, read the staff report here.

By Trevor

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