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Pasadena Water & Power, Planning, Public Works and Fire Up Next in Budget Hearings

Pasadena Center Operating Co., Pasadena Community Access Corp. and Transportation also due to come back

Published on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 | 12:34 pm
 

Local residents on Monday will have more opportunities to review the city’s budget for the coming fiscal year.

The City Council will hear presentations from some of the city’s heavy hitting departments, with representatives from Water and Power, Planning, Public Works and Fire expected to appear before the City Council.

More money goes to the city’s utility than any other department, with the recommended budget for Water and Power estimated at $215 million in fiscal year 2022.

“PWP continues to experience significant budgetary challenges due to rapidly evolving utility service industries and impacts of COVID-19,” according to that agency’s proposed budget. “The impacts of distributed energy generation and battery storage for electricity are placing pressure on revenues due to reduced retail sales and require that PWP’s electric rates remain competitive with new alternative resources.”

According to the report, local water supplies are constrained by limited resources and water quality requirements. Increasing regulation and legislative actions and new technology create upward pressure on costs to produce and deliver affordable and reliable energy and water.

PWP will continuously review its fiscal strategy, monitor COVID-19 impacts, priorities and opportunities to increase revenues, all while reducing expenses in order to maintain a balanced budget to deliver reliable water and power and continue the support of vital city services.

The recommended budget for the Planning Department is just more than $20 million.

Work in that department includes a three-year effort to implement the city’s General Plan, which includes updates to the plan’s Land Use Element, an update to the zoning code, updates to seven specific plans, and a new Lamanda Park Specific Plan,

“This work program will also include updating the existing regulations to ensure that new development is compatible in form and massing with the character of Pasadena’s intact neighborhoods,” according to the budget report. “In FY 2022, Community Planning staff will also commence work on the 2021-2029 Housing Element update.”

This year’s Public Works recommended budget comes in at nearly $77 million.

Public Works maintains city streets, buildings and vehicles; manages integrated waste programs and services; manages the city’s Service Center; and designs and manages capital projects.

The city’s Fire Department for FY22 is expected to reach $56 million.

“The Fire Operations Bureau maintains a constant state of readiness for emergency response through training, maintenance of equipment, and a desire to serve our community,” the proposed budget states.

“The department is an all-risk Fire Department and provides the community with emergency medical services (EMS), fire suppression, technical rescue, and hazardous materials responses. The Operations Bureau responds to all natural and man-made emergencies and non-emergency public assistance incidents,” the budget report states.

The City Council is also expected to hear from the Pasadena Operating Co., the Transportation Department and Pasadena Community Access Corp. at the meeting.

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