How Has COVID-19 Impacted Our City’s Budget? City Also Seeks Budget Adjustment For Television Studio

The Finance Commission is meeting today, Tuesday, January 19, 2021 at 5:30pm, and will be reviewing our city’s fiscal year 2021-23 two-year budget and fiscal year 2021-26 five-year plan. The Commission will also decide on a budget adjustment request for the construction of a dedicated production studio in the Public Information Office at City Hall. To participate in the meeting click here. The event password: City

The newly appointed Finance Commissioners are:

Faruk Bhagani (Farrah Khan)
Mike Genest (Mike Carroll)
Lauren Johnson-Norris (Larry Agran)
John Park (Anthony Kuo)
Magi Yang (Tammy Kim)

Budget

Assumptions, Baseline Projections and Preliminary Balancing Measures for Fiscal Year 2021-23 Two-Year Budget and Fiscal Year 2021-26 Five-Year Plan

The Finance Commission will take its first look at the Fiscal Year 2021-23 two-year budget and the 2021-26 five year budget plan. The city’s key funds – the General Fund, the Building & Safety Fund and the Orange County Great Park Fund have been impacted by COVID-19 and face significant reductions in fund balances. The commission will provide input on the assumptions, baseline projections and suggested balancing measures outlined by City staff. The below charts can be found on pages 4-5 of the staff report.

The Orange County Great Park, and its operating fund, is projected to be impacted due to COVID-19 over the next several years. The baseline budget includes reduced revenue assumptions due to significantly lower rental and tournament use projections. It is anticipated expenditures will outpace revenues in this fund by $5.5 million to $8 million in the three projected years beginning in FY 2021-22. These impacts will significantly affect fund balances for the Great Park Operating Fund. In future years, revenues are expected to recover and new revenue streams are anticipated to come online.

Television Production Studio

The Commission is also being asked to approve a budget adjustment of $394,991 to provide the additional funding needed for the construction of a dedicated production studio in the Public Information Office at City Hall. According to the city staff report the original funding for the project was approved by the City Council for $1,115,000 but project costs increased based on the final design.

The report explains that the creation of a dedicated, standalone television studio will allow Irvine Community Television (ICTV) staff to create a more diverse type of programming, including live programming. The additional funding will come from the Public, Educational and Government Access (PEG) fund. These are fees that the city receives to produce community engagement programming. PEG fees are collected from Cox Communications and AT&T through a State issued cable television franchise.