Photo by John Schreiber.
Photo by John Schreiber.

The Los Angeles City Council Thursday tentatively approved an $8.75 billion spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year that includes $138 million to address homelessness and $31 million to repair damaged sidewalks.

The spending plan for fiscal 2016-17, which begins July 1, includes $5.5 billion in spending from the general fund, and $3.2 billion from various special funds.

It’s the first budget to set aside a significant amount — $138 million as was proposed by Mayor Eric Garcetti — for addressing homelessness. The funds will be used to build 600 residential units for the homeless, as well as for shelter beds and job training.

Nearly half of the money — about $64.7 million — will come from the general fund, plus $6.4 million from special accounts.

The rest of the budget for homelessness will come from charging development fees on projects — potentially generating $20 million — and by selling off city-owned properties or converting them into affordable housing to come up with $47 million. The policies needed to generate those funds have yet to be debated by the City Council.

The police department will get $1.486 billion under the spending plan, with some of the funding going toward adding about 300 civilian employees so that sworn officers can be freed up to do other work.

Of the $634 million allocated for the fire department, $17.3 million will be spent on hiring and training 230 new firefighters. The department is undergoing an effort started last year to rebuild firefighter ranks after significant cuts were made in 2011 amid the recession.

Angelenos will also see more sidewalks being fixed in the upcoming year, with the city planning to spend $31 million on repairs under a legal settlement with disability advocates.

The defunct Park Ranger program has also been restored, with funding in the budget for 12 positions. The spending blueprint also includes more funding for cleaning streets, tree trimming, installing speed humps, and purchasing library books and equipment.

The budget sets aside $334 million in reserve to be used in emergencies and $93.14 million for the city’s budget stabilization fund.

A resolution on the budget will be brought back to the City Council for the final vote, then will go to Mayor Eric Garcetti for approval.

— Wire reports 

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.