Marina City Council is feeling bullish on their economic outlook, having approved a $57 million budget for the 2021-22 and 2022023 fiscal years. Well, at least part of the council—the unbalance budget, which is short by $500,000, was approved with just three votes, with Councilmember David Burnett dissenting and Councilmember Lisa Berkley abstaining. 

The 3-1 vote on Oct. 5 means all vacant full-time and part-time city positions, 15 in total, are budgeted to be filled, and city services are set to run at full capacity.  

The city staff report on the budget predicts that hotel taxes (also called transient occupancy tax) and sales tax will be back to pre-pandemic levels by fiscal year 2022-2023, although the city’s expenditures—including costs such as property insurance, pensions and wage increases—are growing faster than the revenue recovery. 

The budget includes a priority project list. This list is based on a community survey where residents rated their priorities. It includes: completing the downtown revitalization plan; opening the pump track and Sea Haven Park next year; and replacing some broken and missing street lights by the end of this year. 

Other projects that are funded in this budget include facilities and road improvements, a study on racism and a general plan update. Not everything on the wish list is included even in this record budget—repairing the 26 worst streets in the city ($5.3 million) and upgrading existing city parks($3 million) did not make the cut. Staff will look to other potential sources of funding down the road to move these projects forward. 

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