The City of Poway annual budget for the upcoming fiscal year was adopted at the June 18 City Council meeting. The City will have a $102.77 million balanced budget with all service levels maintained, all planned capital projects appropriately programmed, and the City’s 45 percent reserve policy fully funded.
“Traditionally, we have not spent beyond our means and this year’s budget is no different in that regard,” City Manager Chris Hazeltine said as he introduced the agenda item.
The budget is the single most important document the City Council adopts each year and provides a financial roadmap for carrying out the City’s work plan to provide services to residents. The budget also identifies City Council priorities and initiatives and identifies issues on the horizon.
Because Poway is a mature city with limited growth, this translates into fewer opportunities to generate new revenue for General Fund expenditures. With the updated Poway Road Corridor Specific Plan, projects like The Outpost and Poway Commons (if approved) have potential to provide new housing, retail and dining options, and generate new sales tax and property tax revenues.
Expenditures, however, continue to rise. This is largely attributed to rising pension costs and increases to the City’s contract with San Diego County for law enforcement. Other factors include health care costs, inflationary adjustments to previously approved contracts and agreements, increasing utility costs, as well as rising costs associated with regional agreements and permits.
Because revenues are not keeping pace with increasing expenditures, staff acknowledges that there are issues to contend with in the future – likely beginning with the next fiscal year. Staff is poised to address those challenges and identify strategies to navigate through what could be a difficult decision-making process.
Watch the June 18 Poway City Council meeting here.