By Fernando Alcantara/Garden Grove Journal
“The goal is to break even or come out a little better [than this year],” director of finance Kingsley Okereke said. “We don’t have any anticipation of funds carrying over into the new year, however.”
Okereke described Garden Grove’s economic recovery as slow and long and predicted more of the same for the upcoming year, citing the dissolution of the redevelopment agency as a huge factor.
Okereke did announce that Garden Grove will enjoy a balanced budget going into the new fiscal year.
The actions taken in order to balance the budget included the continued de-funding of six public safety positions that Okereke explained have been vacant and will remain so.
Budget cuts in labor amount to a savings of $3.78 million which includes Garden Grove’s current hiring freeze, which will continue, and the intention to buy out employees that are eligible for early retirement.
Land sales will provide $1.4 million and $7.5 million has been recouped from other parts of the budget with $3.5 million drawn down from reserves.
According to a three-year plan that was previously approved by city council, $1 million was taken from workers compensation fund.
The drawing from other funds, Okereke said, doesn’t jeopardize the integrity of those funds and allowed for the the budget to be balanced to within $67,000.
Although revenue recovery has been slow, which was expected, Okereke credited the city’s spikes in sales revenues to the raise in gas taxes and revenue from the city’s hotels.
City council also approved the resolution for the adoption of the annual budget of the Garden Grove housing authority Tuesday night allowing for the expenditure of $31,921,143.
Of that amount, $28 million will go to housing assistance, providing monthly rent-assistance for 2,337 very-low income families and help continue to implement the Family Self-Sufficiency Program that aids families in achieving self-sufficiency.
A vote on the termination of a franchise for cable television services with Time Warner Cable was continued until July.