Tonight: Menlo Park council review budget with $3.4 million surplus


The Menlo Park City Council will review tonight (June 7) the city's proposed budget, which projects a surplus of $3.4 million in the fiscal year starting July 1.

Revenue of about $110 million and expenses of about $107 million are projected.

In the city's general fund, which covers about 50 percent of the city's finances and the "vast majority" of the city's public services, revenue of $51.6 million and expenses of $51.4 million are projected.

In a 10-year budget forecast, revenue increases are assumed with new hotels opening and "modest growth in property taxes" while revenue decreases are assumed via a loss of education-based refunds from the state and slowing development. Average changes in the Consumer Price Index were also factored in.

In other action the council may:

● Vote to continue for three more years a process to make it easier to build secondary dwelling units in Menlo Park.

● Authorize no parking zones to be installed along the proposed Oak Grove bike route, covering Middle Avenue near Fremont Street, Menlo Avenue near Curtis Street, Oak Grove Avenue near Marcussen Drive, and Sharon Road near Eastridge Avenue.

● Authorize construction contracts and budgets to install sidewalks on Menalto Avenue and O'Connor Street and install pedestrian and bike improvements along Valparaiso Avenue and some surrounding streets.

● Authorize approval for a contract to drill a well that would offer emergency water supply, located at the city's corporation yard at 333 Burgess Drive. Currently, about 3,000 residences and businesses could be without water during a significant natural disaster, according to the staff report. At least two other emergency wells are also being pursued by city staff, and are expected to bring a contract for a consultant to the city council "in the near future."

The Menlo Park City Council will meet for a closed session at 6 p.m., then begin its regular meeting at 7 p.m. at the Menlo Park City Council Chambers at 701 Laurel St.

Here are links to the agenda and to the page where the meeting can be viewed online.

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1 person likes this
Posted by Joan
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 7, 2016 at 12:30 pm

I'm glad Menlo Park will likely vote to continue making it easier to build second units. Fees need to be drastically reduced. In addition to very high fees, thousands of dollars in other requirements are piled on top of the permit fees. We desperately need housing. Menlo Park has a budget surplus so they COULD help seniors and others wanting to build these small units.

Like this comment
Posted by MIddle Ave corridor
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 7, 2016 at 12:48 pm

Great - a surplus! Ideas below.
If the city divided that amount and gave every current person living in Menlo Park their portion, we would each get about $130!! A dinner at Jefferies for you child's basketball team. (Thank you Switzerland)
Sell lottery tickets for $200 each up and down the Peninsula to 20,000 people in order to win a nice lot in central Menlo Park with a fixer upper on it - turning that 3.4 into 4 million
Spend the next five years talking about maybe doing some of the ideas above.

Like this comment
Posted by dana hendrickson
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 8, 2016 at 1:50 am

Given the commitment Menlo Park has already made to improving the east-west bike corridor on Valparaiso-Glenwood between Elder and Laurel THIS YEAR there is neither a need nor a good justification for creating an Oak Grove east-west bike corridor.

1. It effectively duplicates the Valparaiso-Glenwood bike corridor for crossing El Camino.

2. It unnecessarily eliminates many downtown parking spaces.

3. The proposed design for connecting Santa Cruz to Crane includes "sharrow" street markings that will encourage more bike riders - especially Hillview students - to ride downtown. Sharing this section of a narrow and busy main street is a bad idea for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.

Instead, Menlo Park should

1. Add bike lanes to University (south) and Menlo so bicyclists can more safely and conveniently ride to downtown, especially popular destinations like Draeger's, Peet's, Trader Joe's, Walgreens, Starbuck's and Ace Hardware and the planned new outdoor dining spots. These bike lanes would also improve the riding experience of the many bicyclists who already use these streets to cross EL Camino at Ravenswood Avenue.

2. Build a bike path along Ravenswood between Alma and Laurel and possibly all the way to Middlefield. This bike facility would serve the many bicyclists who already use Ravenswood to reach SRI and other popular destinations via Middlefield. The bike path would also encourage more high school student to travel by bike rather than car.

3. A safe, convenient and stress-free crossing of El Camino and the train tracks can be created today and modified when ( and if) a rail separation project becomes a reality. At best, this project is AT LEAST 5-7 years away so an interim bike crossing solution is clearly warranted. Uncertainty about rail-street separation should not halt progress on building a city bike network that serves many more residents soon.

Table Oak Grove bike corridor; complete Valparaiso-Glenwood bike improvements, improve access to downtown with bike lanes on University and Menlo Avenues, create a separate bike path near Ravenswood, install a well-designed Menlo-Ravenswood bike crossing on El Camino, and complete a Middle Avenue connection to Alma. Then our city would have a first-class community bike network.

We have the funds. Do we have the vision and will to make these improvements?

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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