On Tuesday, Sept. 5, 2023, the Long Beach City Council voted to adopt the City of Long Beach’s $3.2 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2024 (FY 24). The Adopted FY 24 Budget maintains current services while making significant one-time investments in key priority areas in line with the Long Beach Strategic Vision 2030, including commitment towards major infrastructure projects through the Elevate ’28 Plan. These initiatives aim to shape a future where all of the City’s diverse community members have a safe, clean, and healthy place to live, work and thrive.
“The newly adopted ‘Opportunity Beach’ budget addresses many critical and complex challenges facing our City and makes strategic investments over the next decade that will foster economic growth and expand opportunities for youth, families and businesses,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “This budget is the result of months of listening and reflects our shared vision of a healthy, safe and thriving Long Beach.”
Long Beach is a full-service City and the Proposed FY 24 Budget maintains all services at the FY 23 level reflecting a commitment to providing quality public services; investing in the wellbeing of the community, small businesses and the local economy; and building a solid infrastructure to stabilize the City today and into the future. The budget also makes critical investments for many service priority areas while utilizing resources in a strategic and fiscally prudent way that avoids adding to the General Fund structural shortfall previously projected at the start of the budget development process.
“Our Fiscal Year 24 Budget approved by the City Council is balanced, strategic, and puts a strong focus on the City’s investments in infrastructure and our commitment to quality public services,” said City Manager Tom Modica.
The new investments made in the Adopted FY 24 Budget take into consideration priorities from the Long Beach City Council and key areas identified in the Long Beach Strategic Vision 2030 as well as community feedback from residents received during the budget development process throughout this year.
The Adopted FY 24 Budget includes the following:
Housing and Homelessness
The City remains committed to providing safe and quality housing that is available and affordable for residents across all income levels. While the City has made significant progress in its efforts to address the issues of affordable housing and homelessness, it remains steadfast in its commitment to identify and leverage additional funding streams and implement more programs, services and opportunities. The budget supports existing services and enhancements including:
- One-time funding of $550,000 for the Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) to support various site costs of the recently acquired property, located at 702 W. Anaheim Street, to be utilized as a permanent, year-round shelter for people experiencing homelessness.
- The structural addition of five new positions in the Health Department’s Homeless Services Bureau to provide critically needed support for the administration of programs and services for persons experiencing homelessness.
- One-time funding of $300,000 to support the clean-up of large homeless encampment sites, including waste and other items illegally dumped in parks and open spaces.
- One-time funding of $200,000 to support the Housing Trust Fund for an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) pilot program that will aim to provide pre-fabricated ADUs to homeowners who would then rent the units to lower-income families that hold housing choice vouchers.
The City is committed to a safe Long Beach through services that enhance public safety and wellbeing with innovative, collaborative and strong community-based relationships and programs. The budget supports existing as well as new, innovative initiatives to achieve a variety of public safety priorities including:
- One-time funding of $1.3 million to implement a Safety Response Unit in the Police Department to address current crime trends through measurable and increased community engagement, education and collaborative enforcement.
- One-time funding of $300,000 to support Police Department traffic enforcement and Citywide Vision Zero pilot projects, in effort to reduce traffic related fatalities and injuries.
- The structural addition of Measure A funds of $164,973 for a Jail Clinician to aid in critical re-entry program support.
- One-time funding of $500,000 to support a staffing reserve for the Fire Department so that it can bring on staff as needed on high demand days.
- The structural addition of Measure A funds of $900,000 to fully fund the operations of Fire Engine 17 on the current overtime model.
- The enhanced efficiency of the 9-1-1 Emergency Communication Center by structurally adding $244,179 of Measure A funds to add two Public Safety Dispatcher II positions, boosting dispatcher levels to pre-pandemic budget, and adding a Communications Center Supervisor through General Fund.
Economic Opportunity, Equity and Resiliency
Supporting Long Beach businesses and promoting economic development is a part of the vision of being a City of opportunity for all workers, investors and entrepreneurs. Fostering a culture of equitable business opportunities and propelling Long Beach’s growing main industries like aerospace and tourism continues to be a key priority for the City. The Adopted Budget includes new investments to support business and economic growth communitywide, including:
- One-time funding of $250,000 to support the Economic Development Department in the design and implementation of the Grow Long Beach initiatives, including the initial consultant, site selector, and proactive business development for targeted industry clusters.
- Increasing structural funding by $1.98 million for a proposed pilot tax credit program, directed by the City Council, for cultivation and adult-use retail licenses who demonstrate good behavior and promotes community benefits, local hiring, living wages and fair labor standards.
- One-time funding of $300,000 to support revenue generation as part of the Grow Long Beach Initiative, including a consultant study specific to revenue opportunities in the City.
- One-time funding of $300,000 to implement a marketing and branding campaign and strategy centered on the City’s business attraction, expansion and retention activities.
The City is committed to a future where children in all neighborhoods have access to quality education, childcare, afterschool programs, post-secondary education, and are prepared to successfully enter the workforce. Investing in Long Beach youth and providing resources, opportunities and support for education and career pathways is a priority for the City. The Budget supports the following new investments including:
- One-time funding of $300,000 for the Economic Development Department’s Public Service Pathways Hiring program, which provides employment opportunities in the City of Long Beach for recent graduates and current students working towards their degrees at Long Beach State, Cal State Dominguez Hills and Long Beach City College.
- One-time funding of $500,435 in Measure US funds so that the Health and Human Services Department can continue Community Based Grants and Incentives around Youth Development.
- The structural addition of 12.5 positions in the Library Services Department, as part of the implementation of City Council’s direction in the Adopted FY 23 Budget, to increase library hours across the Long Beach Public Library system.
Mobility, Equitable Placemaking and Reimagining the Public Right of Way
The City continues to make strategic and forward-thinking investments that will maximize current resources for ongoing future benefits in terms of mobility and the City’s infrastructure foundation. The Adopted Budget supports these efforts with mobility and infrastructure investments including:
- An additional enhancement of $214.6 million to the existing five-year infrastructure plan through FY 27, unveiled in the FY 23 Budget, is anticipated to be available from $55.7 million of Measure A sources and $158.9 million from other funding sources. Known as Elevate ‘28, this new funding will enhance the City’s plan to revitalize the City’s infrastructure, prepare the City to be a showcase for the world during the 2028 Olympics, and continue to improve and enhance City parks, major corridors, and visitor-serving areas.
- The Proposed FY 24 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) is $170.2 million from various sources (excluding Harbor). Detailed information on all proposed CIP projects is available in the separate CIP Budget Book.
- Adding a City Traffic Engineer to oversee the newly created Traffic Engineering Division in the Engineering Bureau, including the management of the Intelligent Transportation Systems Program, Alternative Transportation & Safe Routes to School Program, and the Neighborhood Partnering Program.
- Adding a Senior Civil Engineer and Civil Engineer Associate to support the Sidewalk/ADA and bridge programs.
Climate and Environmental Sustainability
The City is invested in pursuing goals and strategies to reduce the carbon footprint, prepare for extreme climate events, increase the efficiency of natural resource use, and create more livable communities. Stewarding the City’s environmental resources, combating the consequences of climate change, and supporting various local sustainability practices are all major priorities for the City. Key investments in the Adopted Budget include:
- Increasing structural funding by $300,000 and add one-time funding of $700,000 for the citywide implementation of the SCE Clean Energy Green Rate Program to help purchase 100 percent green power for City accounts.
- One-time funding of $7.5 million in Monsanto settlement funds to be utilized for projects and programs that prioritize impacts to water quality, including tree planting; the Urban Forest Management Plan; water capture education and rebates; a trash interceptor barge; storm drain master plan phase 1 support, and critical improvements.
Health, Behavior and Wellness
An important part of the City’s future vision is for every resident in every neighborhood to have the resources they need to live a physically, mentally and socially healthy life. The City is committed to fostering opportunities for residents across the City to achieve optimal health and quality of life, which includes residents’ safety and wellbeing. The Budget makes additional investments to foster a safer environment for all, including:
- The structural addition of two public health positions in the Library Services Department and Health Department (one each) to coordinate department efforts in response to the citywide mental health and homelessness crises and expand the capacity of the Mental Health Coordination team, respectively.
- Continuing to invest in youth by providing safe, secure and engaging programming activities by structurally increasing the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Marine’s (PRM) Be S.A.F.E. Program budget by $216,000 to provide programming at all 11 sites. Additionally, one-time funding of $90,000 and $190,000 for PRM to continue offering the Hoops After Dark Summer Season and the Mobile Recess Program, respectively.
Digital Inclusion and Technology
The City acknowledges the importance of digital literacy and digital inclusive infrastructure in today’s increasingly technology-driven world and is focused on advancing innovative solutions to civic challenges. The City will continue to support the Smart City Initiative by:
- Adding one-time funding of $400,000 to support the Innovation Fund for Smart City Pilot Programs and Civic Innovation Projects.
The City’s ability to deliver quality public services requires the City to be fiscally resilient, adequately staffed, technologically up-to-date, continually learning, backed by sufficient resources that align with priorities, transparent and fully engaged with the entire Long Beach community. The City continues to invest in and prioritize opportunities that support strong recruitment and retention efforts and employee benefits, as well as investments in supporting the City organization so that it can continue to make positive contributions to the community. Select new investments in our government, included in the Adopted Budget, include:
- One-time funding of $300,000 to support the development of a program that will provide down-payment assistance for employees, as well as one-time funding of $1.7 million to provide as-needed support for expanded recruitment and retention incentives citywide.
- One-time funding of $100,000 for the Office of Equity to support ongoing racial equity training for employees.
- The creation of an Office of Ethics and Transparency to support the management of the City Charter Ethics Commission, Ethics Learning Program, and oversee the City’s Public Records Act (PRA) program.
- One-time funding of $300,000 in the Office of Equity to support Long Beach Recovery Act program staff through the end of FY 24, so that staff can continue to provide recovery related programs and resources to those impacted by the pandemic.
Opportunities and Innovations
The City remains committed to anticipating and addressing forthcoming challenges, while embracing innovation and creative solutions. Some key challenges and opportunities include:
- Initiating significant and focused effort on growing the City’s revenue base in line with the Mayor’s Grow Long Beach Initiative to bring new revenue sources for the City and move away from oil related revenues.
- Restructuring the Human Resources Department and continuing recruitment, retention and hiring improvements to address the significant hiring crisis.
- Restructuring the Public Works Department to better meet target goals and implement the significant five-year infrastructure improvement plan, the organics collection program, conduct a strong communications program, and invest in staff training and retention.
- Renaming the Development Services Department to the Community Development Department to better describe the focus of the department on enhancing the development of the Long Beach community.
- Looking to expand and rename the current Library Services Department to a Library, Arts and Culture Department, in response to the growing interest in creating Cultural Centers and Districts and more accurately aligning with the workstreams of the department.
In 2028, the City of Long Beach will once again co-host the Olympic Games with the City of Los Angeles. An additional investment known as “Elevate ‘28” is a plan that builds upon the five-year infrastructure plan approved last year and includes three focus areas: preparing the City to host the LA 2028 Olympics, renovating and refreshing our parks to support future generations of competitive athletes, and making historic cultural and community investments to uplift and celebrate the diversity and history that Long Beach has to offer. The plan includes $214.6 million from multiple funding sources anticipated to be available from FY 24 – FY 27 dedicated to preparing the City for the Olympics games, inspiring the community, and creating a legacy for post 2028. The Elevate ‘28 plan includes 64 new projects that will enhance park space throughout the City, continue to improve water quality, provide wayfinding signage, place making efforts, transportation and mobility improvements, and prepare to elevate the City to the international stage.
FY24 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP)
The FY 24 CIP was developed by the departments of Public Works, Financial Management Department and Office of the City Manager. The plan incorporates public input from community members and local elected officials through public workshops and community meetings. The CIP is informed by a comprehensive review of the City’s infrastructure needs, and the goals and priorities submitted by City departments within the context of funding availability. This ensures that the limited resources fund priority projects, while at the same time, maintain the City’s existing infrastructure and extend the useful life of City assets.
The adopted CIP budget invests over $170 million for planning, design, and construction of new capital projects spread across six categories: Long Beach Airport, Beaches, Mobility, Parks, Public Facilities, and Utilities. Last year the City embarked on a historic five-year $533 million infrastructure investment plan. In May of 2023, City Council unanimously approved the sale of the first tranche ($60 million) of bonds as outlined within the five-year plan. The FY 24 CIP budget includes the funding necessary, and in accordance with, the second year of the five-year plan. Key priorities of the FY 24 CIP budget include:
- $2 million in airport runway and terminal improvements
- $11 million in Tidelands funds to enhance the Beaches and Marinas
- Over $75 million in mobility and safety improvements
- Nearly $9 million in park improvements including $2.75 million to acquire and develop future park land
- Nearly $6 million in public facility improvements including critical repairs to the Main Health Center
- Over $67 million in utility improvements including over $8 million in water quality improvements and Climate Action and Adaptation Plan (CAAP) related projects
- A full list of projects as part of the proposed FY 24 CIP is available here.
Adopted Mayoral Recommendations
Additional one-time funding recommended by the Mayor and adopted in the FY 24 Budget include:
- Develop the “Elevate ‘28” Plan, a new five-year infrastructure plan to lift up all Long Beach neighborhoods, youth and culture in preparation for the 2028 Olympics by funding youth sports facilities, park improvements, arts and cultural centers, and the landmarking of historic and cultural sites throughout Long Beach.
- Initiate a plan to redevelop Queen Mary Island heading into the 2028 Olympics as part of the Grow Long Beach Initiative, including assessing the feasibility of constructing a signature public amphitheater within the next five years.
- Initiate a 10-year plan for the vision and development of the Long Beach Convention Center and the Elephant Lot as part of the Grow Long Beach Initiative.
- Explore alternative future uses of the THUMS Oil Islands, including energy storage and carbon sequestration as part of the Grow Long Beach Initiative.
- Establish a 10-year West Long Beach “Promise Zone,” focusing increased programming and investment in the community over the next decade.
- $1 million for Justice Fund funded by current structural budget allocation and carryover of funds from FY 23.
- $1 million for Tenant Right to Counsel by dedicating the $750,000 funding originally allocated in the Proposed Budget and adding an additional $250,000.
- $100,000 for public arts and murals and requesting the City Manager to prepare a Cultural Arts Plan for the 2028 Olympics.
- $280,000 for a temporary Inclusive Procurement Business Liaison position to expand business assistance and support for women, LGBTQ+ and minority-owned businesses.
- $250,000 for Business Improvement Districts to support programs for enhanced clean and safety activations, and business support and development.
- $70,000 for senior field trips, $100,000 for free summer block parties, $100,000 for neighborhood cleanups, and $150,000 for increased safety measures at Long Beach public libraries.
- $100,000 to improve data collection efforts to better address health disparities impacting the LGBTQ+ community.
- $281,312 for temporary funding for Office of Youth Development Coordinator and $50,000 for City Council offices to support youth-specific programs in their districts.
The Adopted Budget also includes the following one-time additions recommended by the Budget Oversight Committee and approved by the entire Council, including:
- $27,114 to bring the total Language Access Program in FY 24 to $1 million.
- $15,000 for a pilot GrassMat program to provide greater accessibility to recreational assets in parks.
- $75,000 for administrative and programming support for the Cambodian, Latino, and African American Cultural Centers.
- $400,000 for spay and neuter services for animals currently in the Animal Care Services shelter ($150,000 recommended by the Budget Oversight Committee and an additional $250,000 added via Council motion for a total of $800,000 in one-time funding in the FY 24 budget).
- $75,000 to support the development of an Ethics Strategic Plan for the Ethics Commission.
- $200,000 for a pilot program to connect people living in shelters to transitional housing facilities.
- The following has been identified as a high priority project to be considered for funding using any FY 23 year-end surplus resources if available – $500,000 to add to the Tenant Right to Counsel Program. If allocated at FY 23 year-end, this along with Mayor’s allocation will bring the total FY 24 funding to $1.5 million.
The Adopted Budget took into consideration resident feedback garnered through various community engagement opportunities throughout the budget development process. At the start of 2023, Long Beach residents had the opportunity to provide their feedback prior to the development of the Proposed FY 24 Budget through one of four in-person meetings, a virtual meeting, and also through a Budget Priority Survey. After the proposed budget was introduced, four additional in-person meetings and two virtual meetings were held. Community members were also able to provide input by completing a Digital Budget Comment Card that was available in English, Spanish, Khmer and Tagalog. The community feedback from this second round of engagement efforts was transmitted to the City Council in a Sept. 5, 2023, memo.
More information about the Adopted Budget is available at longbeach.gov/fy24. The City’s budget is developed by the Department of Financial Management, which oversees the financial and fleet services operations of the City, including an over $3.2 billion annual budget, serves as a financial adviser to the City Manager and City Council, and ensures the City’s timely and accurate financial reporting, full transparency and accountability, and integrity.
About the City of Long Beach
Long Beach is nestled along the Southern California coast and home to approximately 466,000 people. As an award-winning full-service charter City, Long Beach offers the amenities of a metropolitan city while maintaining a strong sense of individual and diverse neighborhoods, culture and community. With a bustling downtown and over six miles of scenic beaches, Long Beach is a renowned tourist and business destination and home to the iconic Queen Mary, nationally recognized Aquarium of the Pacific and Long Beach Airport, award-winning Long Beach Convention and Entertainment Center and world-class Port of Long Beach.