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LANCASTER – For the first time, city officials will offer the general public a briefing on the municipal budget. The 2006-07 budget briefing will be 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday in council chambers, 44933 Fern Ave. “Community involvement requires community knowledge,” the city said in an announcement of the public briefing. “It is the city’s goal to create an environment conducive to business success, residential happiness and visitor interest. By providing a shared-knowledge approach to budgeting and planning, the city hopes to accomplish that goal and further ensure that it creates a community of the people.” A public hearing on the proposed budget was held on May 23 before the City Council. The City Council is scheduled to adopt the budget at its meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2The proposed $219.7 million budget, up 6.1 percent over last year, adds 29 positions in the public works, parks, planning and other departments, primarily to help serve the estimated 5,400 residents who moved into Lancaster over the past year. The proposed budget includes $18.4 million for public safety, up from $15.5 million in this year’s budget. Part of the increased spending is due to escalating costs for police service. The city is planning to add eight new deputies to its Sheriff’s Department contract. Five will be for what is called target-oriented policing in which deputies tackle particular crimes or problem areas rather than handling general calls for service. Two will be motorcycle deputies to enforce traffic laws. The eighth will be an investigator to deal specifically with domestic violence. The proposed parks, recreation and arts budget is $12.3 million, up from $11.6 million this year. Among the changes being proposed for the upcoming fiscal year will be a series of four downtown street festivals instead of one. The budget includes $71.6 million in construction projects. Among those projects is the $5.6 million James C. Gilley Park, to be built north of Lancaster Boulevard downtown. Plans for the 14-acre park include two soccer fields, two softball fields, basketball and handball courts, and walking paths. The construction portion of the proposed budget also includes $4.5 million to repave streets, $5.4 million for drainage projects and $4.5 million for improvements to the area adjacent to the municipal baseball stadium to accommodate hotel and retail development. firstname.lastname@example.org (661) 267-5743160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!