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City Proposes $206-Million Budget for 1987-88

May 28, 1987|MARTHA L. WILLMAN | Times Staff Writer

Expansion of Glendale's Civic Center parking garage and construction of a new Public Service Building nearby are among almost $18 million in capital-improvement projects proposed in the city's preliminary 1987-88 budget released this week.

The proposed $206-million spending plan is up 7.3% from the current $192-million budget, according to a report issued late Tuesday by City Manager James Rez.

New projects scheduled to be undertaken within the next year include the addition of a fourth floor to the Civic Center garage, which is frequently filled by visitors to city offices as well as clients of the nearby county courts building.

The city also plans within the next year to replace the six-story Public Service Building, erected in 1939, with a new building expected to cost about $8 million. After construction of the new building on what is now a parking lot at Wilson and Glendale avenues, the old building, situated between the lot and the Municipal Services Building, will be demolished. The city has commissioned architectural plans.

Other capital projects would include initial development on a series of freeway parks near the Glendale Freeway, construction of a fire station at Palmer and Glendale avenues and expansion of the city's computer systems.

The only fee increase now proposed is a 10% one for refuse collection. If approved by the City Council, monthly rates for residential refuse collection will increase from $5.15 to $5.70. The monthly cost of the typical commercial service will jump from $62.05 to $68.25, city officials said.

The rate increase is designed to offset expected losses in revenues should the city impose restrictions on dumping at Glendale's Scholl Canyon Landfill. Glendale officials are considering phasing out the dumping of trash at Scholl from Los Angeles and other areas in an effort to conserve space at the landfill.

Refuse collection is partly subsidized by federal revenue-sharing funds and by fees collected from other municipal and private haulers. However, city officials said federal funds may soon be eliminated.

In the preliminary budget released late Tuesday, officials recommended that "it is financially prudent to gradually 'wean' the refuse operation" from such subsidies rather than impose "an abrupt and significant rate increase in the future."

Another rate increase of 7% to 8% for trash collection is proposed for next year, according to the budget report. The city last year imposed a 40-cent-a-month increase on residential refuse rates, which were raised from $4.75 to $5.15.

City policy requires that the cost of services, such as parking, sewers, refuse, water and electric operations, be recovered through fees charged directly to users. Increases in the cost of monitoring test wells and constructing safety barriers at the Scholl landfill have significantly added to refuse-operating expenses, officials said. The rate increase is expected to boost revenues for refuse collection from $5.3 million this year to $6.1 million next year.

Although other fee increases are not discussed in the preliminary budget, Rez said the city also is considering raising parking meter fees to increase revenues for enforcement and patrol. And the City Council this month authorized higher fees for building and safety plans and for the design-review procedures implemented last year.

A daylong study session on the budget will be held by City Council at 8 a.m. June 5 in the city manager's conference room at City Hall, 613 E. Broadway.

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