Encinitas council approves spending plan for next fiscal year

Part of the Encinitas downtown area.
(Karen Billing)

Budget includes money for continuing Leucadia Streetscape project, adding more bike lanes


Encinitas will set aside $6.5 million to transform the old Pacific View School property into a city arts center in the coming fiscal year.

A newly approved city spending plan also includes special financing for the ongoing overhaul of Leucadia’s portion of Coast Highway 101, as well as money to design a train horn quiet zone, make improvements along Rancho Santa Fe Road and add more bike lanes throughout town.

The city’s new fiscal year begins July 1, and City Council members unanimously and enthusiastically approved the coming year’s budget on Wednesday, June 15.

“It’s balanced,” Councilmember Joe Mosca began as he listed off the budget’s features. “We have really generous reserves … and it really does reflect the priorities of the council … I think this budget really does reflect our values.”

Others on the council said they wholeheartedly agreed.

“We’re in a good spot, we’ve managed our money well,” Councilmember Joy Lyndes said.

She praised city staff members for their “creative” proposal to borrow money from IBank — the state’s Infrastructure and Economic Development Bank — to finance the Leucadia Streetscape work. The council approved the paperwork for that $20 million loan earlier in the evening. The loan, which has a 3.3 percent interest rate, is to be paid back over a 15-year period.

Councilmember Tony Kranz said he was pleased to see additional money in the budget to pay for code enforcement, mentioning that he hoped it would reduce problems with short-term vacation rentals. He also noted that the city is upping its public safety funding.

Mayor Catherine Blakespear said that the money for the Pacific View property renovations is evidence that Encinitas is embracing the arts.

The council approved two budgets Wednesday night, June 15 — the city’s General Fund budget, which covers basic city services, and the city’s Capital Improvement budget, which finances large-scale construction projects.

Encinitas expects to collect $92.3 million in general fund revenue in the coming fiscal year. When that figure is adjusted to account for the one-time proceeds from the $20 million IBank loan, the estimated revenues are 3.7 percent — or about $3.3 million — more than the current fiscal year, a city staff report notes.

Expenses are expected to total $82.8 million. When that figure is adjusted by $8.1 million to eliminate coronavirus-related, one-time, federal funding, the city’s expenditures are forecasted to be 4.2 percent — or $3.3 million — above the current fiscal year, the report states.

The unassigned, ending fund balance will be $2.1 million, it adds.

The General Fund budget covers expenses for public safety, public works, planning and development, park and street maintenance, code enforcement and the administrative services to support these programs.

The city’s six-year, Capital Improvement spending plan contains $111 million in large construction projects. Out of that, $22.5 million is scheduled to be spent in the coming fiscal year, including money for the Pacific View renovation and Streetscape projects.

To view the spending plans, visit: