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Report: City spending on track in first quarter

Finance report shows departments are working within reduced budgets.

November 21, 2013|By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com

Following a massive restructuring last year, most Glendale city departments have cut back on their spending in the first quarter of this fiscal year, which began July 1, according to a city report reviewed by the City Council Tuesday..

The conservative spending followed annual cuts of more than $10 million to the General fund the past three fiscal years, which slowed to a more reasonable $1.2 million when the city adopted its current fiscal year budget.

The General Fund pays for police, parks and other general services and the budget was set at about $171.5 million for this year.

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According to the city report, “departments are continuously looking for ways to provide quality services to residents with [a] reduced amount of resources.”

Department spending for the first quarter, which ended Sept. 30, ranged from about 19% of the annual total for the City Clerk's office, to 24% in the City Attorney's office, according to the city report.

Across City Hall, spending is at about 24% of the yearly budget.

At the end of the first quarter, the revenue in the city's General Fund increased by about 8% to $16.9 million compared to $15.6 million at the same point last year, according to the report. The jump is due to increased construction activity in the city, including a building boom in the downtown area, and the permit revenues that come with it.

Despite the uptick in permit revenues, city officials won't be increasing overall revenue estimates at this point and may take up the matter during the midyear review, the report states.

Although department spending is on track, the City Council on Tuesday night unanimously approved increasing budget expenditures by $884,506, 93% of which is earmarked for Fire Department overtime.

The rest will be divided among paying for a new office services specialist in the City Manager's office, fixing a handicap ramp at Casa Verdugo Library and other projects.

As of the end of the first quarter, the city had a General Fund reserve balance of about $57 million, or nearly 34% of the fund's entire budget, according to the report. The city ended last year with a roughly $62.4-million General Fund reserve balance, constituting a rate of nearly 37%.

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Follow Brittany Levine on Google+ and on Twitter: @brittanylevine.

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