The Fiscal Year (FY) 2021-22 Operating Budget and Capital Improvement Program (CIP) Budget for the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District reflects a measured attempt to address the interests of the community within the context of the on-going COVID-19 pandemic. The District will continue its innovative approach to developing and delivering youth, adult, and senior programs within the evolving requirements established by the Alameda County Health Department and child care licensing, with the health and interests of the community in mind. This Budget reflects our view of the pandemic’s influences on our community, with the understanding that the District may need to flex its plans as conditions change, which we are prepared to do.
The Final Operating Budget for the Livermore Area Recreation and Park District for FY 2021-22 is balanced and amounts to $20,442,006. The Operating Budget accommodates $367,325 of general fund allocations for CIP projects, leaving $1,064,854 to contribute to unrestricted reserves.
Cash reserves fluctuate throughout the fiscal year due to timing of property tax inflows and the seasonality of the District’s program revenues and expenses, but, on average, they amount to approximately 35% of the annual operating budget. The District will enter FY 2021-22 with approximately $9.0 million in its general fund cash balance.
Of Note: this Budget was approved by the Board of Directors on June 9, 2021, prior to the issuance of Pension Obligation Bonds (POBs), which was completed on June 22, 2021 and the impact of which is not reflected in this Budget. ACERA pension plan contributions by the District are thus incorporated at their “normal” levels (eg, unaffected by any POB-driven reductions to them). For the FY 2021-22 year, the net effect of a full year of POB-related debt service will effectively offset the ten (10) months of ACERA expense reductions made possible by the reduction of 95% of the Unfunded Accrued Actuarial Liability (UAAL) resulting from the POB funds. In future fiscal years, when a full year of ACERA expense reductions will be realized, there will be material expense savings.
Assumptions and plans influencing this year’s Budget include:
• Overall Revenue growth of 18% versus FY 2020-21, with Earned Revenues from programs expected to grow 66% with less restrictive COVID-driven constraints, while Tax revenues will grow 2%.
• The re-establishment of cost of living (COLA) adjustments for staff at 2%, effective July, 2021, and the resumption of step increases for eligible staff in January, 2022;
• Carefully considered staffing additions in relation to increased programming opportunities, such as funding an enhanced Open Space interpretive program and finding innovative, and safe ways to revive recreation programs that had been prevented from operating due to COVID restrictions;
• Relatively modest (versus pre-COVID years) but impactful CIP spending, which includes completing the replacement of the two modular buildings that will house our Extended Student Services (ESS) program at the Michell School, going live with our Solar facility at the Robert Livermore Community Center (RLCC), resuming the Patterson Ranch trail project, addressing deferred maintenance at the Rodeo Stadium, developing a bicycle “pump track”, completing the resurfacing of the two pools at the May Nissen location, enhancing various facilities at May Nissen, and deploying a variety of smaller enhancements at parks throughout the District.
In summary, the District will continually focus on intelligently addressing the needs and requests of the community we serve. That being said, our on-going planning and analyses of our operations will accommodate the need to quickly refine them while minimizing the impact to our benefited staff and our service levels to the community.
Copyrighted image used with permission from Barry Zupan.