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Local News

Libraries, Community Development to Present Proposed Budgets to City Council

Also up for discussion Monday is a plan to use Redevelopment Agency funds to expand the Restorative Policing Program

The city of Santa Barbara needs to further cut expenses for the next fiscal year, but Finance Director Bob Samario says there will be some relief for departments cut too deeply in past years, including libraries.

On Monday, the library and Community Development departments will present their proposals to the City Council, which has the final say on all budgetary decisions.

The library department expects to cut its collections budgets by 30 percent, close the Central Library on Sundays instead of Mondays, and keep libraries open for more of the year instead of closing for two weeks in December. It’s expected to have a $3.9 million budget next year.

Community Development would lose one position, and its hourly employee hours would be cut by more than half, according to the recommended budget.

Most of its staffing and resources go to planning efforts, including long-range planning (Plan Santa Barbara and the medical marijuana storefront dispensary ordinance), zoning, environmental review, design review and historic preservation. The department has a $10 million recommended budget.

The Redevelopment Agency’s $10.1 million recommended budget also will be discussed Monday. There’s a proposal to use $135,000 in Redevelopment Agency funds to expand the Restorative Policing Program to more on-street staffing and outreach workers. The effort would deal with transient-related issues in downtown and East Beach, and it’s modeled after Santa Monica’s program, which has been heralded by community leaders in the Milpas Community Association and other organizations.

The City Council will meet from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Monday in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 735 Anacapa St.

To give input on the budget process, public hearings and budget work sessions will be held throughout May and June before the City Council adopts a budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year. Click here to view the schedule online.

The city expects a $249.3 million operating and capital budget for next year.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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