Measure M Money at Top of City Council's Finance Committee Agenda Today

Published : Monday, December 11, 2017 | 6:40 AM

City-of-Pasadena FinanceThe Finance Committee of the Pasadena City Council meets Monday, December 11, to deliberate on a recommendation from the Department of Transportation for the City Council to authorize the City Manager to sign all agreements, including assurances and understandings, required to receive Local Return funds under Measure M.

The Committee will also consider a recommendation from the Department of Finance for the City Council to adopt a resolution amending the 2018 General Fee Schedule and to approve annual adjustments to the 2018 Schedule of Taxes, Fees and Charges, specifically related to New Year’s Day and the Rose Bowl.

The Committee tackles these recommendations before passing them onto the City Council, which also meets Monday right after the Finance Committee meeting.

Measure M, approved by Los Angeles County voters during the November 8, 2016 general election, imposes a half-cent tax on motor vehicle sales to gather funds for improving transportation and easing traffic congestion.

The accumulated fund from the tax is administered by the Los Angeles County Transportation Authority or Metro, and cities in the county are allocated Local Return funds that could be used for public transit, street and roads, traffic control measures, active transportation, transit-oriented community investment, transportation marketing, transportation administration and local fund contributions.
By authorizing the City Manager to sign all agreements related to the release of Local Return funds, the Transportation Department intends to facilitate the process so the funds could be made available with minimal delay.

An agenda report prepared by the Transportation Department showed the Local Return funds will primarily be used to improve the operations of Pasadena Transit, the City’s public bus system.

The report said Pasadena Transit operations are currently funded almost entirely by the Local Return portions of the Los Angeles County Transportation Sales Tax appropriated from previously approved legislation such as Propositions A andC and Measure R, with additional funding coming from federal government grants.

With revenues growing at one percent per year and operating expenses growing at over three percent per year, the Department of Transportation said Pasadena Transit expenses will eventually exceed revenues by the year 2020. The Department eyes Measure M Local Return funds as an available resource that can be used for Pasadena Transit operations and possibly extend the decision point to 2024.

Transportation Director Frederick Dock said Measure M funding provided for 2018 is $1,756,776. No local match funds are required, he said.

Regarding amendments to the 2018 General Fee Schedule, the City’s Department of Planning and Community Development is recommending that the city charge a new Public Hearing Notive Sign fee of $11.50. Currently, no fees are collected when the developer or applicant for new private development posts notices announcing a public hearing. The fee will recover the costs to purchase the board and for the City’s Print Shop to print each sign.

Another recommended amendment is changing the pass-through fees collected by the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk and the California State Department of Fish of Wildlife, to reflect those entities’ mandated rates.

The Finance Department is expected to explain details of the recommendation during the Finance Committee meeting.

The Finance Committee meets at 4 p.m. at the City Council Chambers, Room S249 at the Pasadena City Hall.

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