City Unveils Proposed FY 2024 Budget

Daniel Pineda

On Aug. 1, the City of Long Beach unveiled its Proposed Fiscal Year 2024 (FY 24) Budget at Admiral Kidd Park in West Long Beach, which totals to about $3.2 billion in several key projects and investments.

“The FY 24 budget addresses the most complex challenges facing our city, like homelessness, climate change, and overall city responsiveness, while ensuring the continued financial health of our city,” said Mayor Rex Richardson. “The plan makes strategic investments that will foster economic growth, prepare our community to host the 2028 Olympic games, and expand opportunities for youth, families, and businesses across Long Beach.”

According to a press release issued by the city of Long Beach, 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.

“The Proposed Budget not only focuses on the city’s investments in infrastructure and commitment to quality public services, but it is also a reflection of the many service priority areas shared by our community during the outreach process,” said City Manager Tom Modica. “It is balanced, strategic, and will serve as a critical guiding force for the way we serve the Long Beach community. I extend my gratitude to our Budget Office and all city departments for their unwavering dedication throughout the development of this proposed budget.”

Housing and Homelessness

The city reportedly 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 is remaining committed to identifying and leveraging additional funding streams, as well as implementing more programs, services and opportunities for Long Beach citizens. The budget supports existing services as well as recommended enhancements, which includes but is not limited to:

One-time funding of $550,000 for the Department of Health and Human Services 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.

One-time funding of $300,000 to support clean-up of large homeless enacampment sites.

Climate and Environmental Sustainability

According to Long Beach City Manager Tom Modica, the city is also heavily 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 proposed in the Budget include an increase in structural funding ($300,000) and a one-time funding ($70,000) for the citywide implementation of the SCE Clean Energy Green Rate Program to help purchase 100 percent green power for city accounts.

Modica also stated that the city will be investing $7.5 million from Monsanto settlement funds into various water quality projects. The $7.5 million would also go towards programs focusing on water capture education and rebates, tree planting, the Urban Forest Management plan and other critical improvements.

‘Elevate 28’

Another big part of the FY 24 Budget was what the city is calling the “Elevate 28” plan, which includes 55 new initiatives that the city hopes to complete, before the upcoming Olympic Games come to the United States.

According to Mayor Rex Richardson, “Elevate 28” adds to last year’s $533 million investment plan by putting an additional $55.7 million in Measure A funds, as well as $158.9 million in grants and other funding toward projects like replacing pumps in Alamitos Bay to enhance water quality ($30 million), upgrading the Long Beach Convention Center ($50 million) and potentially issuing more bonds to complete the rebuild of Fire Station 9 ($20 million).

Mayor Richardson stated that “Elevate 28” will also be prioritizing key investments that will aim to lift up and improve various areas of the city. These projects in relation to “Elevate 28” are separated into three main categories:

2028 Olympic Legacy, which includes improvements to the Long Beach Airport. the Queen Mary. Marine Stadium and the Convention Center. and completing the new Belmont pool

Community and cultural investments, which include plans to conduct an African American Cultural District feasibility study, construct a grand entrance for Cambodia Town, create an early design for a Latino Cultural Center and an LGBTQ+ Cultural Center, along with constructing the LGBTQ+ cultural district along Broadway.

Gold Medal Park Refreshment Projects, which include improvements to various playgrounds, sports facilities and park amenities at Admiral Kidd, Houghton, Hudson, MacArthur, Silverado, Bixby and El Dorado parks, among others.

“We have a lot of work to do in the next five years as we open up our doors and showcase Long Beach to the world.,” said Richardson. “We also have to ensure that our youth and diverse neighborhoods throughout the city not only feel included in this, but also receive direct benefits from the city’s planning efforts leading up to these large-scale events.”

Other project categories, which were already included in the original capital improvement plan, include efforts to improve Public Safety, Economic Opportunities, Education, Quality of Life and much more.

The budget that was unveiled on Aug. 1 is a starting point for discussion among the community and the City Council, which must approve the final budget by Sept. 12. The city’s 2024 fiscal year officially begins Oct. 1.

“I’m proud of this map, and I’m proud of the investments we’re making in our city,” Public Works Director Eric Lopez said Tuesday, referring to a massive map showing the dozens of new projects the city unveiled in this year’s budget.

For more information about the Proposed Budget, including information about budget hearings and workshops, citizens can visit longbeach.gov/fy24. Community members also may provide input on the Proposed Budget by completing the Digital Budget Comment Card, available in English, Spanish, Khmer and Tagalog, at a Long Beach Public Library location with open computer labs.

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