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The City Council on Monday approved a tentative $1 million plan to keep San Diego’s two homeless tents open to June 30.

The tents, one for single adults in Barrio Logan and the other for military veterans along Pacific Highway in the Midway District, had been slated for annual closure at the end of this month. They’re mainly intended to serve as shelters during the cold-weather months.

San Diego tent shelter for homeless veterans. Photo  by KPBS via YouTube
San Diego tent shelter for homeless veterans. Photo by KPBS via YouTube

The plan was passed unanimously as part of a package of midyear budget adjustments proposed by Councilman Todd Gloria when he was interim mayor.

Gloria had proposed that $2 million go to the San Diego Police Department to acquire cameras that can be worn by officers and record their interactions with the public. City and SDPD officials believe the recordings will reduce the number of incidents in which officers are accused of sexual abuse or other misconduct.

Acting Police Chief Shelley Zimmerman told the City Council the department could make do with just $1 million until the end of this fiscal year. Zimmerman’s nomination as chief goes before the council members Tuesday.

Rick Gentry, president and CEO of the San Diego Housing Commission — which oversees administration of the city’s homeless programs — said the remainder would be enough to pay for the tents to remain open three more months.

A potential holdup could be that the Navy’s property lease to the Veterans Village of San Diego, which operates the veterans tent, expires April 10, Gentry said. He said he will know by next week if that issue can be resolved.

“This is a contingency right now, we’re just seeing what will work,” Emerald said.

City financial staff last week projected that the city will end the fiscal year with a $50.8 million surplus, of which around $37 million is available to spend. Gloria, who was replaced by Kevin Faulconer as mayor today, recommended $22.9 million in expenditures.

The council’s approval also included $10.1 million to cover increases in insurance premiums and claims, $3 million for improvements to the South Chollas Landfill, and a $1.3 million loan to cover cost overruns on a project to renovate the downtown waterfront.

Smaller expenditures were recommended for adding nine recruits to an upcoming police academy, updating the city’s website, restoring funding that had been cut at the City Attorney’s Office and preparing the site of a temporary fire station in the Skyline neighborhood.

The rest will go into reserve accounts.

—City News Service