(PLACERVILLE, CA) – El Dorado County Chief Administrator, Don Ashton, today released the County’s Final Budget for fiscal year 2017/18. The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to review and approve the $569 million operating budget Tuesday, September 19th.
“With this final budget, I’m pleased to announce the County has an opportunity to bolster its reserve funds, attend to deferred building maintenance and road repairs, and set aside funds for known future costs increases that the Board of Supervisors cannot control,” Ashton said. “In a time when both the cost of providing services has increased along with the population needing them, this budget is a testament to the vigilance of our department directors, managers and staff being very judicious in regards to spending and ending the year with higher fund balances than projected at mid-year.”
In his memo to the Board of Supervisors, Ashton called an increased $13 million in the County’s General Fund operations balance from the recommended budget estimate approved in June “one-time money” and recommends the funds primarily be applied to emergency road repairs ($3.5 million), funding future CalPERS increases ($6 million) and establishing an OPEB (Other Public Employee Benefits)/ CalPERS Prefunding Trust ($2 million).
Additionally, the final budget includes $1.6 million in additional revenue from increases in property tax ($500,000), additional property tax in lieu of a portion of the state’s vehicle license fee ($942,000) and transient occupancy tax ($216,000) revenue.
As with the approved recommended budget, the final budget fully funds the General Fund contingency ($6 million), fully funds the General Reserve ($8.5 million) and fully funds the contribution to Capital Reserves ($5 million).
“We made a concerted effort this past year to constrain new programs and growth in existing programs with an eye toward being able to fully fund our contingency and reserves as well as satisfying deferred building maintenance and Americans with Disabilities Act requirements,” Ashton said. “Not only have we been able to achieve those goals, we’ve done so with 40 fewer full time employees than we had last year.”
“While this budget reflects the good work we have done this past year, we must continually look for efficiencies and smarter ways to operate in a future that is rife with uncertain State mandated programs, escalating CalPERS costs and an increased demand on our current level of services,” Ashton said. “The decisions that will be made in the future will only become more difficult as we grapple with the realities of a growing, older population that requires maintained or increased levels of service while still preserving a rural lifestyle. The truth is, we likely cannot do both, and we are already working on next year’s budget to identify and address those gaps.”
Ashton’s memo to the Board, the Final Budget Summary and other budget documents can be found here.
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