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Orange County Focus

LAKE FOREST : Council Approves $13.7-Million Budget

August 20, 1993|FRANK MESSINA

The City Council approved a $13.7-million 1993-94 budget this week that included money for extra police protection. The budget, however, had council members lamenting the lack of funds for more landscaping of city parks, slopes and medians.

Despite a budget increase of $168,500 for landscape improvements and park maintenance, council members said they feel that more work is needed to beautify the city.

"I think there are three things that are most important for a city: safety, a sense of community and beauty," Councilman Tim Link said.

"I'm very disappointed the budget didn't have more money for landscaping," he said. "It could affect the bottom line, which is property values."

The budget allocates $549,000 for landscape maintenance, an increase of $68,500 over last year. The council also approved $100,000 for landscape improvements.

Although the council agreed to hire three additional police officers at a cost of $257,000 annually, Councilwoman Marcia Rudolph said, she wanted more money set aside for officers and landscaping. "But at least this is a start," Rudolph said.

Mayor Ann Van Haun concluded: "I think we have done the best we could with the budget that we had."

With the hiring of new police officers to bolster patrol and traffic duties--and a few smaller last-minute additions such as money for a traffic signal--the city's reserve fund will total $745,000.

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