Recently, the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved a proposed budget for fiscal year 2009-10 of $769 million, which is $96 million less than the current 2008-09 budget. The balanced budget approved by Supervisors erases an earlier projected deficit of $18.6 million through cost savings and minimal use of reserves.
Despite reductions and expenditure constraints caused by the recession and the state budget crisis, the proposed county budget continues investment in infrastructure projects such as road improvements and county library upgrades.
The county”s balanced budget approved Tuesday is an interim spending plan that will take effect July 1 and remain in effect until the Board of Supervisors adopts its final budget no later than October 2.
However the full impact of the state budget crisis on the county budget remains unknown. Changes associated with the Governor’s May Revision of the State’s proposed budget are anticipated to cause at least an additional $11 million in further Placer County budget reductions.
The deficit of $18.6 million which was anticipated in February was matched by cost savings and minimal use of reserves. Approximately $6.7 million in savings was generated as Placer Public Employee Organization members, confidential staff and management team members agreed to take 12 days of Mandatory Time Off (MTO) in order to prevent layoffs in these groups. Other cost savings measures included $9.2 million in short term and ongoing reductions, and $4 million in reserves, partially offset by $1.3 million in revenue reductions.
‘The courageous actions of our staff members who stepped up to the plate and agreed to take mandatory time off really helped us out in this very challenging budget year,’ said Board of Supervisors Chairman Rocky Rockholm. ‘Their actions have enabled us to keep people working to provide high quality services to our residents and businesses.
‘Frankly, our Board has been approving budget savings for two years now. This proactive approach has also helped us tremendously.’
The Placer County 2009-10 fiscal year proposed budget incorporates declining revenue projections in property taxes, sales taxes, interest, property transfer taxes, construction permits and public safety sales taxes.
Staff will continue to monitor the state budget process for potential impacts to the County. A workshop on the revisions to the state budget and other state actions has been tentatively scheduled for the June 23 meeting, and a public hearing is scheduled for August 25. According to the California Department of Finance, the state budget is more than $24 billion out of balance.
The Board of Supervisors also took action Tuesday to further constrain spending, reducing budgets for travel and transportation, extra help, overtime and professional services.
A hiring freeze remains in place for most jobs. Currently the county has 164 fewer filled positions in 2008-09 than in 2007-08. An estimated 62 fewer filled positions are anticipated in 2009-10.
Restricted and otherwise dedicated funding in the budget will allow important community improvement projects to move forward, such as the South Placer Adult Detention Center, the Auburn Folsom Road widening project, park projects in Martis Valley and Dry Creek, and the Highway 65/Sunset Blvd. overcrossing.