Auburn, Calif.- The Placer County Board of Supervisors today approved the county’s final 2014-15 budget, giving the OK to the $798 million spending plan.
The plan for fiscal year 2014-15 shows a 10.7 percent increase over the previous year, primarily related to increases in capital and infrastructure spending. The budget shows that the region is recovering from a multi-year economic downturn that caused a precipitous drop in tax revenues, as well as in state and federal revenues, that are dedicated to funding services and programs for Placer County residents.
The county’s spending plan will continue to provide services to residents and meet the county’s obligations. The final budget more accurately aligns the costs of delivering countywide programs and services to departments.
The budget also:
- Provides for reinvestment into capital maintenance such as road resurfacing and repairs, addressing maintenance for county buildings, the repair and resurfacing of trails, bike trails and other county features that were deferred during the economic recession;
- Gives full-year funding for operations at the recently opened South Placer Correctional Facility;
- Implements a transition/re-entry center for recently released inmates;
- Provides funding for a feasibility study for a multi-generational center; and
- Shows slight increases to reserves used to stabilize services as during economic fluctuations.
The 2014-15 Final Budget reflects the continued use of a multi-year budget framework approach that encourages long-term county budget sustainability and operations by aligning them with expected revenues and cost increases. This approach reduces the reliance on one-time funding sources to support ongoing operations. The budget reflects a process whereby staff engages board members in ongoing budget discussions throughout the year, rather than waiting until summer to begin budget work.
“When I started four years ago, I went to five or six budget meetings,” said Board Chairman Jack Duran “We’ve actually reduced the number of meetings on the budget, but I feel better informed.”
Supervisor Kirk Uhler also voiced his approval with the new budgeting process “Now, by the time we get to August and September, we don’t have the end-of-the-fiscal-year budget crunch,” said Uhler. “This has made it much more transparent and much more understandable.”
Placer County’s operating budget includes 16 different funds and covers 168 special districts governed by the county, explained Andy Heath, the Deputy County Executive Officer for Finance, Administration and Budget, in his presentation to the board. “The five-year plan promotes fiscal responsibility and fiscal sustainability,” said Heath. “We take a conservative fiscal approach, but we’re not overly conservative.”
The budget’s 2014-15 General Fund is slightly more than $401 million and is the largest. The Final Budget also contains $208.4 million in Capital and Road Infrastructure Funds; 35.5 percent over the previous year. These funds are dedicated to construction and maintenance of county buildings and infrastructure to ensure public access to services, road and bridge infrastructure, storm maintenance, and snow removal.
The budget’s Public Safety Fund is made up of four departments: Sheriff, District Attorney, Probation and the County Executive Office. The 2014-15 fund is $150.3 million, an increase of $3.9 million from last year.
In other business:
- OK’d three contract amendments for the Placer County Conservation Plan. The Plan, a long-time board priority, promotes the conservation of open space in the county’s rural areas and will streamline the regulatory review process;
- Adopted a resolution for the Placer Hills Fire Protection District that will maintain the same level of fire, rescue and emergency medical services, but lower costs for new residential, commercial, office and industrial development; and
- Proclaimed September as Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Addiction Recovery Month in Placer County.