City of Santa Paula logoAt its regular meeting on June 21, the Santa Paula City Council unanimously adopted its two-year Fiscal Year (FY) 2023-25 Budget. The balanced, nearly $54 million budget, indicates the City is in strong financial standing and is committed to maintaining its financial health.

“This budget is a testament to the strides we have made as a City,” said Mayor Andy Sobel. “From supporting street improvements and infrastructure, such as the Harvard Boulevard project, enhancing our Parks and Recreation offerings and budgeting for initiatives in Council’s newly adopted two-year Strategic Plan, we have taken significant steps towards creating a more prosperous and inclusive Santa Paula community.”

The City held two budget study sessions on June 7 and June 14 for City Council to provide direction to staff on any adjustments and give residents an opportunity to provide feedback on budgetary priorities.

The Santa Paula City Council’s primary objective is to provide effective services by improving organizational efficiency, adequate planning, financial stability and hiring and retaining talented public servants. These guiding principles advised the City Council throughout the budgeting process and ensured that its allocations were aligned with the community’s needs.

The City’s General Fund revenues are generated from a combination of property taxes, rent for public facilities, fines, license and permit fees, sales tax and other forms of revenue. The total revenue for the next two fiscal years is projected to exceed the expected General Fund expenditures by $225,674.

Just two weeks before adopting the final budget, the City learned of the financial shortcomings of the SPIRIT of Santa Paula homeless shelter. In response, the Santa Paula City Council earmarked funds in this budget to help ensure the continuity of the essential services the shelter provides. The City allocated $200,000 per year for the next two years to support the shelter’s operations. The County has committed to match the City’s contribution, and the City of Fillmore will contribute an additional $150,000 per year.

Recognizing the importance of addressing homelessness at the source, the Santa Paula City Council also voted to include funding for the addition of a full-time management analyst for housing needs. This position will play a vital role in developing and implementing effective strategies to support affordable housing projects in Santa Paula.

In line with its commitment to support economic development, the City allocated $30,000 in this budget to support the Santa Paula Chamber of Commerce’s efforts to grow and strengthen the local small business community. This investment will further the objectives outlined in the City’s 2023-2025 Strategic Plan, driving growth, development and prosperity in Santa Paula.

Additionally, the approved budget included a provision to extend the City Council Spanish Interpretation program. By supporting this initiative, the City strives to promote inclusivity and accessibility, ensuring that all residents have the opportunity to participate in civic affairs and have their voices heard.

The Santa Paula City Council also reaffirmed its commitment to improving the condition of the City’s streets by dedicating $2 million for projects next fiscal year. In addition, a little over $2 million is planned for FY 2024-25, with funds generated by Measure T contributing $250,000 per year. Additionally, the City continued the City’s investment in the Harvard Boulevard Improvement Project, which is partially funded by Measure T, a $2 million federal infrastructure grant and $1.5 million dollars from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). When completed in 2024, this project will significantly enhance the quality of one of the City’s main arterial roads and modernize its water and sewer infrastructure.

“I want to express my appreciation to the City Council and our dedicated staff for their collaborative efforts in developing a budget that strikes a balance between meeting the needs of our residents and safeguarding our fiscal future,” said City Manager Dan Singer. “With this solid foundation, we are well-equipped to navigate the challenges ahead and continue serving our community while maintaining our commitments to fiscal responsibility.”

For more information about the City of Santa Paula’s approved budget and its initiatives, please view the City’s Financial Reports section of the website or contact Finance Director, Christy Ramirez at (805) 933-4211.