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La Cañada cuts some checks for community groups, public projects

As council approves $11.2-million budget, a variety of projects received funding.

June 26, 2013|By Tiffany Kelly, tiffany.kelly@latimes.com

La Cañada Flintridge City Council members gave the green light to a variety of public projects and doled out money to several community groups on Monday while keeping the budget for the next year relatively conservative.

City staff recommended that council members approve a $11.2-million budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year, supported by $13.6 million in reserves.

Mayor Laura Olhasso was comfortable enough with that financial cushion to recommend increasing projected property tax revenues for the year by $12,900. The city raked in $3.9 million in property tax revenue over the past fiscal year, and city staffers expect a similar outcome for the next year.

Officials did not need to reach into the city's reserves to fund the fiscal year that begins on July 1.

Funding for projects include:

  • $1.05 million for street resurfacing, partially funded by federal grants.
  • $125,000 to improve storm drains on Padres Trail and Chevy Chase Drive.
  • $42,000 to install a raised median at Chevy Chase Drive and Figueroa Street.
  • $27,500 for computer-operated water management systems on two city sites as part of an effort to eventually have all city-owned properties on the system.
  • $3.7 million to install three sound walls along the Foothill (210) Freeway, funded by a Measure R grant.
  • $60,000 to pay a communications firm to create newsletters and help the city with its outreach to the public.
  • $5,300 for carpeting and $22,800 for lighting-control equipment at Lanterman Auditorium.
  • $102,000 to fund a special-assignment deputy position within the Crescenta Valley Sheriff's Department to assist with the recent increase in residential burglaries.
  • $75,000 to evaluate the slow traffic signals on Foothill Boulevard and Angeles Crest Highway.

Eleven community groups received funding for new projects and reoccurring costs. Most were approved, though several organizations received less than they asked for.

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Tyler Wright, president and chief executive of YMCA of the Foothills, made a unique request: He wanted $30,000 to jump-start two programs at the center that would address recent tragedies.

In May 2012, a 6-year-old drowned in her backyard pool during Memorial Day weekend. On March 1, a senior at La Cañada High School died after jumping from the third floor of a building on campus.

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