Del Mar City Council adopts balanced, but tight, budget

The Del Mar City Council formally adopted the city’s budget for the next two fiscal years on June 22.

“It’s quite extraordinary we have a balanced budget on time,” said Deputy Mayor Richard Earnest. “Not a lot of governments can actually claim that.”

The tight budget cuts more than 6 percent from the general fund to

$9.1 million for fiscal year 2009-2010 and $9 million in fiscal year 2010-2011. The general fund covers city operations, community services and some infrastructure improvements.

“Your executive team put together a very difficult budget but one that serves the community,” City Manager Karen Brust said.

In order to help maintain a balanced budget, the council also approved several revenue enhancement measures.

Parking meter rates will increase from $2 to $3 an hour at North Beach, along Coast Boulevard and in the 17th Street parking lot from July 1 through Sept. 30.

A voluntary parking permit program will sell parking permits for $700 per year. The permit entitles the holder to park in metered spots without paying the hourly rate and stay longer than the posted time limit.

The fees for renting Seagrove Park for special events were increased from $800 to $1,000 for residents and $1,500 for non-residents.

The council expressed concern about the lack of city funding for smaller infrasructure projects such as road paving.

Public Works Director David Sherer said there are adequate reserve levels, but the city will build a significant backlog of projects if the budget remains tight beyond the next two years.