Here ya go, be a Southern California Cop and work the beach community.....

June 9, 2006

CARLSBAD City staff is preparing an operating budget that would squirrel away money for the future while earmarking funds for a total of six new positions in the Police and Fire departments.

The 2006-07 budget proposes spending $170.2 million on operations for the fiscal year that begins July 1, an increase of 7.4 percent over the current year's figure of $158.4 million. Revenue is projected to hit $177.4 million, or 7.3 percent, over this year's $165.4 million.

Lisa Irvine, the city's finance director, told the City Council during a budget meeting Tuesday that the city would put some of the $7 million surplus into a fund to help repair infrastructure. Some also would go into a reserve to brace the city if the economy declines and the state siphons money from municipalities, Irvine said.
The city is projecting about $50 million in undesignated reserves by the end of the upcoming fiscal year, Irvine said.

The council has scheduled a vote on the budget for June 20.

The proposed budget would increase public safety spending by $2.5 million, the largest jump among city departments. Two field officers, an investigator, a fingerprint/evidence specialist and a dispatcher would be added to the Police Department and an emergency services coordinator to the Fire Department.

Police Chief Tom Zoll told the council the department has a 12-month backlog in fingerprint evidence and needs a new person to speed that process.

Fire Chief Kevin Crawford said emergency medical calls constitute 70 percent of all fire calls, and his department needs a coordinator to keep up with the demand.

The budget would add 15 employees overall, including four public works positions to maintain new and expanded parks.

The revenue increase is projected to come primarily from property, sales and hotel room taxes. Property taxes lead the field with a projected $43.8 million, 21 percent higher than this year's $36.2 million.

Sales taxes are expected to total $29 million for 2006-07, a 9 percent increase, while hotel room taxes are estimated to jump 6 percent to $11.8 million next year.

The budget also would include a 5 percent increase in water fees and an 8 percent increase in sewage fees.

An average monthly water bill would increase to $43.35 from $41.25, and a monthly sewer bill would go to $14.65 from $13.50 under the proposed budget.

The city will hold a budget workshop at 5 p.m. Wednesday at the Faraday Center, 1635 Faraday Ave.