La Verne

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City Takes Steps to Address Added Retirement Costs

At its February 5, 2018 meeting, the City Council approved a plan to address the increasing costs associated with rising pension costs, which are anticipated to grow to over $11 million by fiscal year 2032-2033. The strategies identified to fund the debt include lowering operating expenses and increasing revenues, as well as refinancing a large portion of what is due at a lower interest rate. Following is a summary of the steps that will be instituted during the 2018-19 fiscal year.         

Begin the Process for Issuance of a Pension Bond:

  • By doing this, the City will pay off a majority of its unfunded obligation due to the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) and get a more favorable interest rate saving an estimated $35 million in interest payments.
 

Convert Three Engineer/Paramedic Positions to Paramedic-Only Assignments:

  • Staffing of the ambulance at Fire Station 3 will change from one engineer/paramedic and one firefighter/paramedic to two firefighter/paramedics. All La Verne Fire Department units will remain at current staffing and the number of fire department sworn personnel will remain unchanged at 34 employees.
 

Institute a Yearly Business Fire Inspection Fee:

  • The Fire Department will establish a fee for the yearly fire and life safety inspections based on the square footage of the business.
 

Reassign Six Firefighter/Paramedics to Non-Ambulance Fire Assignments:

  • The City will exercise the provision of the 2014 La Verne Firefighters Association Memorandum of Understanding, which provides a 5% bonus for Firefighter/Paramedics not assigned to an ambulance. Six employees will receive the 5% bonus, while 12 will continue to receive the 15% bonus for maintaining a paramedic license.
 

   As permitted under the Los Angeles County Building Code:

  • Charge contractors that require an excessive number of repeated building inspections.
  • Double the permit fees where illegal construction has been identified.
 

Contract out for street sweeping services:

  • Current personnel will be reassigned.     
 

   Re-Prioritize Capital Improvement Projects (CIP):

  • Currently, the City’s Capital Improvement Program receives support from the City’s general fund in the amount of $250,000 annually.  The City is reviewing CIP projects supported by the General Fund and will re-prioritize projects if needed.
 

Sell excess land:

  • The City plans to sell excess land along Amherst Avenue for housing. This will provide the City with property tax revenue, as well as land sale proceeds.    
 

Increase Utility Reimbursements:

  • Last year, the City hired a consultant to evaluate if charges paid by the water and sewer utilities were appropriate. Initial findings concluded that the amount being charged to these utilities was lower than what they should be. Steps will be taken to have those reimbursements increased.
 

The full City Council Agenda Report and Plan can be found here:   pdf Report on Results of January 11 Fiscal Sustainability Workshop (654 KB)