The city of Los Alamitos has some extra cash - $358,000 to be exact - and city officials are looking for help with ideas for spending it.
At tonight’s City Council meeting, the council will vote on a Community Give-Back Survey aimed at soliciting community input on how to spend $358,000, the equivalent of 1 percent of the city’s utility users tax revenue. Earlier this year, the council decided that strong budget reserves afford the city an opportunity to exercise a one-time give-back to the community. Instead of a one-time tax reduction or rebate, residents urged the council to spend the money on projects that would improve the quality of life in Los Alamitos.
Toward that end, the city is considering a $50 drawing for all suggestions formally submitted to the city on how to spend the money. If the council approves the survey, every household that submits suggestions to the city will automatically be entered in a drawing to win a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant or a $50 voucher for a city recreational class.
An Ad Hoc Committee has determined that the money should be spent on something outside the ordinary scope of city spending and that it should benefit every neighborhood and segment of the population. The proposed survey asks readers to rank their spending priorities for several options including:
- A community garden
- Light pole banners
- Improvements at Oak Gym
- A digital sign outside City Hall
- Emergency kits for every household
- Tree plantings
- Expanded free summer parks programs
- Iconic citywide signage
- Scholarship program to send senior citizens on trips
- Seed Money to start a Sugar Beet Festival
The last suggestion is the brainchild of local historian Larry Strawther and school board member Diana Hill. The festival would be a celebration of local history dating back to the city’s roots as a sugar beet ranch. The festival would involve local businesses and restaurants and help support local nonprofits.