Wednesday morning report, June 24

Five things to know this Wednesday morning: 

1.) The City Council yesterday approved the 2015-16 fiscal year operating budget, which totals $164 million.

The good news is that sales and property taxes are expected to climb next year, and the Promenade is projected to create an additional $2.5 million in annual revenue starting in 2017.

The bad news is that it will all be a wash due to rising employee pension costs. 


2.) City officials say the $2 fee to play basketball and volleyball at Apollo Park is only charged to adults, and only between 12-2 p.m. (I wrote about this issue on my Facebook page on Monday, and it generated a lot of discussion.)

Officials say Apollo Park staff began charging $1 in 2003, and raised it to $2 in 2004, as a way of keeping the "bad element" out of the gym. The fee has cut down on vandalism and discourages loitering, officials said. 

Council members approved the city's fee schedule, which also included a $12 increase in the fire department's ambulance insurance program. The annual cost to enroll in the optional program is now $60 per year, per address. 


3.) Rooftop concerts return tonight, with a performance by Irish band Slugger O'Toole that starts at 7 p.m. on the roof of the downtown parking structure. 

The concert is free, and Soroptimist International of Downey will be operating a beer garden (not free). 


4.) Cindy Kovach of U.S. Bank will be installed as president of the Downey Chamber of Commerce during a luncheon that begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Rio Hondo Event Center. 

“I am looking forward to a great year as president,” Kovach said. “We have a lot of exciting programs planned for this year. Please watch for our calendar of events. We have many opportunities to get involved. Thank you for your support.”

The event also honors outgoing president Elizabeth Trombley of Kaiser Permanente.


5.) A 21-year-old college student from Downey is trying to raise $3,500 after his dog was struck by a car and now needs surgery. 

"I just got back from the vet and I was hoping for the best but the cost is $3,500. It's just not something I can afford," says Jose Flores. "I'm only 21, I work at In-N-Out and go to school full time. It hurts to see him like this. Any help would be great."

Flores created a GoFundMe page for donations.