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Auburn, Calif. – The Placer County Board of Supervisors today approved the county’s final 2015-16 budget of $816.7 million, an increase of 2.4 percent from the previous year’s budget of $798 million.

The board approved a proposed budget of $803 million June 16 for the county’s fiscal year beginning July 1. The final budget reflects updated revenues and costs since the proposed budget was adopted.

“This is a balanced budget that spends conservatively while funding necessary improvements in the services our citizens are telling us are most important to them,” said Andy Heath, deputy county executive officer. “It keeps us on the right path of efficiently providing for today’s needs and building a solid foundation for a sustainable financial future.”

The final budget benefits from increasing revenue as the economy and property values continue to improve, and maintains a general fund reserve balance of at least 5 percent of the general fund budget to help provide consistent service in tougher economic times.

Notably, the budget funds a new position to oversee implementation of the Placer County Conservation Plan, and provides $1 million to purchase land for conservation. The PCCP is a first-of-its kind agreement between three local agencies and the state and federal governments to create a comprehensive conservation plan that sets aside up to 47,000 acres of land under permanent preservation. When approved, the plan will result in a larger, more contiguous area of open space and natural habitat, as well as a more streamlined, cost-effective and predictable permitting process to promote sustainable future development in the county.

The budget also begins implementing elements of the library strategic plan, which seeks to reverse a trend of declining services, modernize library operations and build a foundation for improved library services in the future.

A study of the most economical way to improve fire service throughout the county is also funded in the budget, as several independent fire districts responsible for service in Placer County struggle with financial challenges. Funding the continued operation of the Ophir fire station for a full 12 months – originally planned for a mid-year closure in January 2016 – is approved in the final budget, as well.

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