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Tuolumne County Supervisors Reluctant To Pass 2005-2006 Spending Plan

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Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors adopted the county budget for the next fiscal year after a marathon session yesterday.

Supervisors were reluctant to pass the $163 million spending plan because of a shortfall to county fire services in excess of $700,000.

Under the plan, Tuolumne County would cancel the so-called Amador contract which allows for state funds to assist in keeping key fire stations open during the off season.

That means the county would lose battalion chiefs who investigate fires and command control. The county would also lose more than 30 full-time fire fighters and a volunteer training captain in the Sonora, Twain Harte and Blanchard fire stations.

County Administrator C. Brent Wallace told the board that his hands are tied. He said that in the absence of added general funds there was no choice but to cut services. He said from a personal and professional standpoint, he found the budget recommendation “distasteful.”

Community members on hand expressed their concern as emotions ran high during the public comment period. Several were moved to tears as they addressed the board.

The plan will be subject to review in August.