MALIBU—The Malibu City Council approved the use of the 2019 Malibu Services Set Aside Funds to preserve and expand its existing and new services and programs for the community. During the March 11 city council meeting, members agreed to extend existing funding providing a deferred maintenance fund, enhancing service hours, hiring additional library staff, hiring a full-time security guard, and enhancing library collections and materials.

In September 2008, the City and County executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that identified the use of Library Set Aside Funds. The MOU established a structure in which the expenditure of excess funds generated from taxes that Malibu residents pay could be used on the Malibu Library. On March 26, 2018, the City and the County executed an amendment to the MOU extending the term until 2044, with two possible five-year extensions.

The 2005 Needs Assessment established community-specific goals for the Malibu Library that were primarily focused on the large-scale renovation of the existing library and the purchase of furniture and equipment to serve the library program.

In an interview with Santa Monica Daily Press, Mayor Jefferson Wagner stated, “The Malibu Library is at the heart of Malibu’s cultural and literary life, so I am proud of the incredibly valuable, diverse, and top-quality programs and services we have been able to develop at our beloved Library.”

The 2018 Needs Assessment indicated that there is a strong desire for additional Speaker Series programming to highlight local Malibu authors and offer speaker events in western Malibu. Staff is recommending increasing the annual Speaker Series budget by $25,000 from the previous year to cover the costs to rent space to host Speaker Series events in western Malibu locations.

Services for the Malibu Library are paid for from a portion of property tax, noted a Council Agenda Report from February 21, 2019. Every year the County of Los Angeles sets aside the difference between the City’s library portion of the property tax revenue and the Malibu Library expenses into a designated fund. As of June 30, 2018, the Set Aside Fund totals approximately $10 million.

The estimated Set Aside Fund balance in 2020 will be approximately $11 million. This estimate is the result of an approximate amount of $1 million being added to the Set Aside Fund each year and an estimated cost of living increase of 3 percent. It does not take into account a change in the cost of the services provided or a significant increase or decrease in revenue.

Written By Christianne McCormick and Casey Jacobs