San Diego City Hall / Photo by Brittany Cruz-Fejeran

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The City Council on Monday approved a more than $5 billion budget for the year that begins in July.

The budget included last-minute additions such as a $3.6 million fund to help 300 struggling renters remain in their homes, a new multidisciplinary outreach team to help particularly vulnerable homeless residents, $1.1 million for the city’s Climate Equity Fund and more.

The budget is now headed to Mayor Todd Gloria’s desk.

As Times of San Diego reports, the mayor’s budget released this spring focused on infrastructure repairs, increasing pay for city workers and combating homelessness, among other causes. Gloria’s revised budget released nearly a month ago made additions including  $5.4 million to support new city shelters, $4.1 million for increased police overtime, nearly $550,000 to back a unit focused on placing homeless residents who are unable to care for themselves in treatment and housing, $200,000 for a so-called Safe Camping Pilot Program for vulnerable homeless seniors plus $1.5 million and 16 full-time equivalent positions to support more restroom cleaning and trash collection in city parks.

City and Housing Commission officials said Monday they have since teamed to cobble together about $619,000 in additional state and local funds to continue serving about 63 families already receiving housing aid and another 60 new families in the new fiscal year. 

The Tijuana River which flows throughout the U.S.-Mexico border in San Diego. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

Homeland Security Wants to Close a Gap Across the Tijuana River

U.S. Homeland Security late last month announced that the agency is once again pursuing a project that would close a gap across the Tijuana River, citing that doing so would address safety concerns about the river’s polluted conditions.  

But it’s worth noting the gap they want to close is also the location where back in 2018 hundreds of Central Americans crossed during a confrontation with agents. It seems work could begin quickly, but people who have been pushing for other efforts to stop sewage from entering the river and San Diego are not stoked. 

MacKenzie Elmer writes in the latest Environment Report that this project could delay the Environmental Protection Agency’s planned projects to clean up the polluted Tijuana River. 

Leaders of environmental agencies warned in 2020, when a similar project was in the works, that a border wall in that location would do little to address illegal crossings and would be exposed to damaging flash flooding. 

Read the Environment Report here.

Restaurants and bars in Hillcrest set up temporary parklets during the COVID-19 pandemic. / Photo by Adriana Heldiz

San Diego Restaurants Face New Outdoor Dining Rules

San Diego restaurants have a month before the city’s new outdoor dining rules go into effect and only 19 restaurants have taken the steps to keep their outdoor dining areas intact, according to public records data obtained by CBS 8.

The city’s new guidelines will force restaurants to either tear down their temporary outdoor dining areas or apply and pay for specific permits. The data showed that only 19 of the roughly 500 restaurants that have installed the makeshift outdoor dining areas have applied so far. 

The city sent a letter to restaurant owners last month telling them they have to either apply for the “Spaces as Places” permit by July 13 or apply for a permit to have their outdoor dining structures torn down, according to CBS 8.

Permit costs range from $10 to $50 per square foot plus inspection fees and will last two years once approved. Each outdoor dining area will most likely have to be modified to fit the city’s new requirements, and some restaurants may not even qualify at all depending on its location.

In Other News 

  • Magda Fernandez is now the county’s first Latina Police Chief and second woman to lead the Harbor Police Department — the agency that patrols the San Diego Bay, the San Diego International Airport and the bayfront. (Union-Tribune) 
  • Lawmakers are telling California cities to end cruising bans, and instead celebrate its culture and history. Lowrider car clubs and groups in National City have asked the city for years to get rid of its cruising ban. Car enthusiasts last month were disappointed when a pilot project meant to show that cruising could benefit the city, had a large price tag to cover police and other expenses. (Union-Tribune) 
  • Residents throughout San Diego County attended rallies to end gun violence over the weekend demanding that Congress ban assault rifles, enforce stricter background checks and pass more gun laws. The rallies, held in downtown San Diego, City Heights and Encinitas, followed a string of mass shootings in multiple different states across the U.S. over the past several weeks. (Union-Tribune)
  • The Board of Supervisors heard the public’s input on Monday regarding the county’s proposed $7.15 billion budget. Those who commented asked for improved child care, more accessible trails and better wildfire prevention. The public has another opportunity to comment at 5:30 p.m. this Thursday in person or by phone. (KPBS)

The Morning Report was written by Lisa Halverstadt, Andrea Lopez-Villafaña and Tigist Layne. 

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1 Comment

  1. FYI, the Morning Report emails for the last week have not been properly formatted to be read in Outlook, at least. Even at full screen the email will not fit in the reader.

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