BEVERLY HILLS — The Beverly Hills City Council’s upcoming virtual meeting on August 4 will include a discussion on whether to reduce Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) funds in the 2019/20 fiscal year (FY). 

“The sudden and significant economic impact of COVID-19 necessitated that the City take steps to preserve the health of its fund balance and identify areas where reductions in costs could be achieved to mitigate the severe decline of the City’s revenues resulting from the global pandemic,” the Council’s COVID-19 Budget Ad Hoc Committee says in a report. 

The COVID-19 Budget Ad Hoc Committee and city staff have recommended a $24.4 million cut in CIP funds. These reductions will “facilitate the transfer of $6 million from the Infrastructure Fund to the General Fund in the FY 2020/21 operating budget.”

The remaining amount in the budget will carry over to fund the five-year CIP plan. 

Project managers also cut back their initial proposals of the plan by nearly $52 million from approximately $428 million to $376.5 million. The five-year plan will run from the 2020/21 FY through the 2024/25 FY.  

Of the $24.4 suggested reductions, approximately $8 million are from the Santa Monica Boulevard corridor and $2 million from park facilities renovation projects.

Projects cut from the initially proposed five-year $428 million budget include $11 million from a commercial property development at 336 Foothill Road, as well as cuts in “Major Building Systems Maintenance and Replacement” and the “Vehicle Replacement Program.”

The report says the focus of the proposed adjustments is to focus the city’s efforts on maintain support for the “most essential projects” over the next few years as the economic future takes shape. 

“These reductions will have only marginal impact on the City’s current capital improvement plans, as the work planned for these funds will occur in future years, and the funds may be restored where and when needed, after the City’s fiscal condition has sufficiently recovered,” the report adds.

For the 2020/21 FY, the CIP budget is proposed at approximately $74 million. $23 million of which are Infrastructure funds.

Funding will continue on major city projects, including $15 million for the Metro Rodeo Station North Portal, and $13.023 million for the La Brea Basin Well Development (WEP).