(PLACERVILLE, CA) – El Dorado County Chief Administrator, Don Ashton, today announced that the fiscal year 2017/18 Recommended Budget has been delivered to the Board of Supervisors and is available online for review. State law mandates that the Recommended Budget be submitted to the Board on or before June 30th of each year. Supervisors will hold a public meeting June 20th, 2017 to receive public input and make additions, deletions and modifications to the recommended plan.
“I’m pleased to present to the Board and residents of El Dorado County a budget that is balanced, meets State requirements and fully funds contingency, general reserves and capital deferred maintenance,” Ashton said. “Additionally, we took great care to present this budget in a format that is easier to read and more understandable, transparent and useful to the public than prior budget documents.”
The total budget is $536 million while the General Fund budget is $284 million. It includes $3 million in local funds for road repairs, more than $2 million in additional funding to improve the County’s Information Technology infrastructure and many of the Board’s priorities identified during an earlier public hearing on the budget.
Highlights of the Recommended Budget include County cost reductions to General Government (8.2 percent) and Land Use (17.9 percent), and the elimination of 40 full-time positions. The overall budget is $13 million less than last year’s Adopted Budget and is a $4 million decrease from last year’s General Fund budget.
“Crafting this budget was challenging as we try to balance the cost of essential but discretionary services, the increasing costs associated with providing those services, the myriad unfunded programs the State requires us to provide, and the limited amount of revenue with which to operate,” Ashton said.
The budget was developed based on policy direction from the Board of Supervisors in accordance with their priorities and in collaboration with each department to evaluate their needs, expenditure patterns and requests for funding. Each County program was reviewed based on the following criteria, with the understanding that community demand exceeds current revenue and that new and enhanced programs would not be considered unless a dedicated source of revenue could be identified:
The largest challenges facing the County in the coming years, and therefore impacting the budget, are the State’s changes to some social service programs, the impact of prison realignment, and, most significantly, increased CalPERS costs estimated to be $4.5 million starting in 2018 with similar annual increases in future years. These fiscal challenges come on top of the reality of the County’s spending priorities such as facility improvements, road maintenance and prior-year funding commitments that will come to bear in the same timeframe.
Formal budget hearings will be held in September during which time final adjustments to the Recommended Budget will be incorporated and the Board will approve the final Adopted Budget for the fiscal year.
“This is a comprehensive financial operating plan that fits within the constraints of available funding and conforms to established policy,” said Ashton. “It is a true reflection of what we can do with the resources we have and the challenges we face.”
The entire Recommended Budget can be found