The city of Encinitas closed fiscal year 2015-16 with an ending General Fund balance that was $4.4 million higher than anticipated.
The favorable budget outcome was the result of increased revenue from property taxes due to solid growth in property values, according to a city news release, and revenue collected from sales and transient occupancy taxes also exceeded projections for the fiscal year. Additionally, expenditures fell $2.4 million below projections primarily due to personnel cost savings and lower than anticipated expenditures for contract services.
A significant portion of the cost savings was the result of the City Council approving its Work Plan that utilized contractual services to backfill for staff working on work plan projects. A comprehensive list of these projects can be found at encinitasca.gov, while residents can view the financial results and current annual budget at encinitasca.opengov.com.
The release goes on to say that “the positive financial results affirm the city’s commitment to maintaining financial health through the efficient allocation of resources. Reserves in the General Fund for contingencies and revenue stabilization are fully funded and total $13.2 million. The contingency reserve is to be used as a last resort in an emergency, while the revenue reserve (otherwise known as the budget stabilization reserve) is intended to guard against recessionary impacts to revenues and protect service levels during difficult fiscal times.”
The city has not needed to tap into either reserve since their inception.
Looking ahead, major capital projects funded in the fiscal year 2016-17 budget include full funding for phase 1 of the North Highway 101 Streetscape project totaling $8.1 million; $3.8 million for street overlay; $3.7 million for a new lifeguard headquarters at Moonlight Beach; $2.7 million for the design and development of a neighborhood park at Pireaus Street and Olympus Street; $2.5 million for a pedestrian at-grade railroad crossing at Montgomery Avenue; and $905,000 for safe routes to school improvements in the Cardiff Unified, San Dieguito Union and Encinitas Union school districts.
— Submitted press release