In an effort to improve its presence in the community, the Del Rey Neighborhood Council is proposing to spend about half of its first annual budget of $50,000 on community outreach programs and community improvement projects.

The Neighborhood Council voted Thursday, June 9th, to submit its proposed annual budget to the City of Los Angeles Department of Neighborhood Empowerment (DONE).

Each of the certified Neighborhood Councils of the City of Los Angeles receives annual funding of $50,000 from the city.

The Department of Neighborhood Empowerment $50,000 funding is divided into payments of $12,500, issued in each quarter of the year.

This year is the first year in which the Del Rey Neighborhood Council will receive such funding from the city. The funding is to be used primarily to “increase the visibility” of the Neighborhood Council in the community, according to a Del Rey Neighborhood Council budget overview statement.

Mark Redick, Neighborhood Council vice president, said the council has previously raised money privately for community funds.

“It’s the first year we have a budget, so we still have our training wheels on,” Redick said. “It’s a well-thought-out and well-prepared budget.”

When deciding where to allocate funding this year, the Neighborhood Council gave consideration to “all sectors of the com- munity,” Redick said.

A main focus of the Neighborhood Council this year is to increase its presence in the community through outreach, which will also provide community involvement, he said.

Of the $50,000 annual city revenue, the Neighborhood Council has proposed to allocate $15,000 for community improvement projects and $10,100 for outreach.

Funding for outreach is expected to cover costs associated with promotional items, brochures and bulletin boards.

The $15,000 proposed for community projects is the largest allocation of the budget and will cover projects such as the “Del Rey Day” street fair, playground equipment for Short Avenue Elementary School and the donation of two hundred new books to the Braddock Middle School library.

The projects are “meant to involve the community, local schools, local artists and business groups,” the budget overview states.

As part of the effort to improve interaction with the community, the Neighborhood Council plans to design and produce an informational brochure and a Web site, as well as set up a telephone and answering service for all stakeholders, said Jerrianne Neumann, Neighborhood Council treasurer.

The annual budget proposes spending $3,800 for the design and maintenance of a new Web site and $4,000 for office furniture and equipment, including a new computer.

Other proposed allocations of funds include $4,500 for postage/mailing and $4,800 for community meetings.