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Posted by: John_Hamilton on 10/01/2012 02:54 PM Updated by: John_Hamilton on 10/01/2012 02:58 PM
Expires: 01/01/2017 12:00 AM

Board of Supervisors Adopts FY 2012-13 County Budget

San Andreas, CA...The Calaveras County Board of Supervisors approved the FY 2012/13 Adopted Budget this week allocating more financial resources to the Sheriff’s Office, Animal Services, the Assessor, and Planning, among others. The total county budget is $137,623,989 which is ($17,486,526) or (11%) lower than the FY 2011/12 Final Budget of $155,110,515. “The FY 2012/13 Adopted Budget is balanced and reflects a fiscally conservative spending plan that prioritizes public safety as the number one concern,” said Gary Tofanelli, Chair, Calaveras County Board of Supervisors...

The General Fund budget is $38,269,073 or a decrease of ($12,486,252) or (24.6%) when when compared to the FY 2011/12 General Fund Final Budget of $50,755,325. This decline is the result of an accounting change recommended by the Auditor-Controller to transfer the construction costs and revenue for the new Adult Detention Facility and Sheriff’s Office project from the General Fund to the Capital Improvements Project (CIP) Budget.

Based on the Assessor’s 2012 certification of a (4.37%) decline in property values, General Fund property taxes and Vehicle License Fee (VLF) revenues declined ($537,139) in FY 2012/13 from the prior year. This is less than the 10% decline that the Assessor had estimated earlier in June 2012. Since FY 2009/10, Calaveras County property values have declined (25%) equal to a loss of ($4,955,107) in combined property taxes and VLF revenues. “The loss of local discretionary General Fund revenues limit the county’s ability to meet its growing service demands,” said Supervisor Tofanelli. “Tough choices must be made to allocate limited resources,” added Tofanelli.

An increase in estimated prior year unexpended cash, increases in consumer spending and less than expected declines in property tax and vehicle license fee revenues, provided an opportunity for the Board of Supervisors to significantly increase funding for law enforcement. Since June 2012, the Board allocated funds for 4 additional Deputy Sheriff positions, funds to purchase 3 new patrol vehicles, 3 used vehicles for investigations to replace older high mileage vehicles; monies to offset costs of opening a new Sheriff’s substation in Valley Springs, CA and monies to complete narrow banding of the Department’s radio system.

In the Jail budget, the Board funded a new Sergeant position, 2 new Correctional Officers and a Correctional Technician position. Some of the hiring is expected to occur in the spring of 2013, six months prior to the anticipated opening of the new jail (October 2013). The timing allows the Sheriff’s Office lead time to recruit, train, and transition staff to the new jail facility.

“The Adopted Budget increases resources to support law enforcement in Calaveras County”, stated Tofanelli. “This should help reduce response times and increase officer safety,” said Supervisor Tofanelli, Board Chair. “As part of the change, a senior Deputy Sheriff will be assigned to the Sheriff’s Investigations Division to focus on investigations, increase arrests and reduce crime,” added Tofanelli.

Besides public safety, the Board also prioritized funding to enable the Assessor to hire a new Appraiser-Analyst and purchase vehicles to safely conduct field assessments. These funds support the Assessor’s requests to improve internal operations and the timeliness of completing and certifying the annual assessment roll. The Board also allocated funds for a Planner IV position in the Planning Department to complete the General Plan Update more quickly. “The General Plan Update must be finished to encourage and support economic development,” said Supervisor Tofanelli. The budget provides support for the transition of Animal Services from the Sheriff’s Office to the Calaveras County Environmental Management Agency in partnership with the Humane Society and Domestic Animal Advisory Committee.

The county continues to face potential financial risks including declining property values and loss of tax revenues, Public Employee Retirement System (PERS) costs, unknown healthcare reform costs, and financial impacts from state and federal budget deficits. “Because of these risks, we must continue to budget conservatively and focus on multiple year budget planning,” said Tofanelli.

The Calaveras County budget assumes a conservative course of action including limiting new expenditures and increasing reserves and contingencies. General Fund contingencies are budgeted at $1,372,349 or 3.6% of the General Fund operating budget. The Adopted FY 2012-13 Budget includes a General Fund Reserve of approximately $2.1 million.

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