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$220-Million Budget Seeks Expanded Radio, More City Computers

May 26, 1988|MARTHA L. WILLMAN | Times Staff Writer

An improved radio communications system and computerization of more city services are included in Glendale's preliminary budget for 1988-89.

The proposed $220-million spending plan also calls for 10% increases in both sewer and refuse collection rates and a 7.5% jump in water rates, City Manager David H. Ramsay said during a budget study session with the City Council this week.

A series of study sessions are scheduled before the council votes on the spending package in late June.

The budget, which represents a 6.8% increase over the current $206-million budget, provides for 13 additional city staff positions.

Expenses and revenues in the budget are balanced, and the city is expected to continue to operate without general obligation bonds. Almost $14 million in new revenue is expected from taxes on retail sales and higher property valuations.

Upgrading to Continue

Ramsay said the city is continuing to upgrade its radio communication system, a process it began last year, and plans to add four radio frequencies to the 10 channels already in the system. The expanded system will allow various city departments--including police, fire, public works and public service--to communicate with each other and other cities.

The city also plans to expand its computer services, allowing automation of utility billing, meter reading, and issuance and payment of parking citations. "The computers will help us improve our overall customer service," Ramsay said.

The budget provides for $16 million in capital improvements, including extension of Mountain Street from the Glendale Freeway through the San Rafael Hills to Chevy Chase Canyon; widening Windsor Road, and resurfacing Chevy Chase Drive. The budget also allocates $1.3 million for acquisition and development of mini parks throughout the community.

The 10% boost in the refuse-collection rate follows a similar increase last year designed to offset losses as a result of curtailment of dumping at the city's Scholl Canyon Landfill. Sewer and water rates are being adjusted to compensate for higher operating costs and capital improvements. If approved, the higher water rate would be the first increase since 1984, Ramsay said.

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