LM _______________________________________ ST. NORBERT OC

La Mirada’s Finances Show Resilience

 

 

 

By Mayor John Lewis • March 18, 2021

 2020 was certainly a challenging year, and we all look forward to the gradual return of regular operations for our City programs and events, businesses, schools, and other key areas of our community.

The City of La Mirada has worked to continue providing critical services over the past 12 months.  As the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were just beginning to be realized last spring, the City commenced its traditional budget adoption process in advance of the new fiscal year on July 1.  Given the uncertainties of the time, it was expected that the City, like many government agencies, would face a budget deficit.  In fact, the City’s General Fund was adopted with a projected operating deficit of $1.8 million.

While the last year has been difficult, the City of La Mirada’s financial situation has remained sound.   During a recent Council Study Session meeting, staff presented a mid-year budget update that conservatively anticipates a surplus of at least $2.7 million.  The improved budget situation is largely the result of the City’s traditional revenue sources remaining stable, the strong local tax base, and prudent planning and financial management. These same factors have resulted in La Mirada routinely being named among California’s most fiscally healthy cities according to State Auditor Elaine Howle.

During the past year, the City provided programs to assist residents and businesses adversely affected by the pandemic and is exploring potential uses of funding from the recently approved American Rescue Plan to do even more.  The City was able to provide grants of up to $4,000 to eligible families for mortgage/rental assistance.  Nearly 50 families benefited from this program.  Additionally, through the small business grant and relief programs, nearly 40 local businesses received up to $10,000.  Combined, these programs generated over $530,000 in direct funding to support the community.  We also supported local businesses through the emergency temporary outdoor dining and commercial programs to help restaurants and other important businesses operate in compliance with public health orders.

Unfortunately, all Theatre programming was suspended and most Community Services recreational programming was limited or postponed during the past year.  While this has resulted in some cost savings to the City, it also eliminated the revenues from ticket sales and participation fees.  We look forward to the return of Theatre programming in the fall and plan to offer many recreation programs, including operation of the Buccaneer Bay Waterpark, this summer based on guidance received from the State of California and Los Angeles County Health Department.

The City has also continued to invest in updating our infrastructure.  Some $8.43 million will be spent this year on neighborhood street improvements, Alondra Boulevard street rehabilitation, Valley View Avenue median landscaping replacement, HVAC improvements at the Community Gymnasium, and the completion of new mat-rider and tube slides at Buccaneer Bay Waterpark.  Additional improvements to keep our community safe and attractive will be planned for next year.

The City remains committed to prudent fiscal management practices and financial stewardship.  As we begin to prepare the budget for next fiscal year, we will plan to provide essential programs and services to meet the community’s needs and enhance the quality of life in La Mirada.  Also, remember to #ShopLaMirada and #DineLaMirada and continue to support our local businesses and economy!

Sincerely,

 

 

John Lewis

Mayor of La Mirada

 

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