Huntington Beach

Budget restores Sunday library hours

SUNDAY HOURS will be restored at the Central Library in Huntington Beach (Flickr/cclark395).

By Jim Tortolano

Sunday hours at the Central Library will be restored, thanks to the 2017-18 municipal budget approved by the Huntington Beach City Council on Tuesday night.

The council voted 5-0-2 (with members Mike Posey and Erick Peterson absent) to pass the proposed budget of $361.2 billion, of which $224 million is for the general fund.

“Taking Care of Business” – as the spending plan is called – will bring back hours at the city’s library, hours which were cut in the wake of the Great Recession. Central Library will be open on Sundays from 1-5 p.m., at a cost of $137,950.

The price of those extended hours will come from trimming $30,000 originally slated for audio/visual work in the council chambers, and $107,950 from the city’s equipment replacement emergency funds.

Council members chose that route, rather than another scenario that would have shifted four hours from the existing five days of operation, at a net cost of $55,450. The choice of the more expensive option rested on the preservation of two “Storytime” sessions for young library patrons.

Other key aspects of the budget include:

  • an increase of $98,000 for staffing at the new senior center due to rising demand
  • a beach nourishment project of $282,000
  • park improvements including $127,000 for Central Park East and $196,000 for turf replacement of the city sports complex
  • no changes in city staffing levels.

Financial boost for air show

Also on Tuesday night, the council approved a resolution raising parking rates during the 2017 Breitling Air Show planned for Sept. 29-30 and Oct. 1, with the money going to financial support for the aviation demonstrations. The anticipated revenue is projected at $100,000.

Additionally, the council voted to allow air show organizer Air Support LLC to defer reimbursement of city expenses – primarily in public safety – for 45 days after the event.

Air Support reported that it lost $395,000 on the 2016 show. Chief sponsor Breitling has pledged an additional $100,000 in support, the council was told.

 

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