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Calaveras Supervisors Pass Preliminary Budget

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San Andreas, CA – The Calaveras supes unanimously approved the county’s preliminary budget although one said he was holding his nose to cast his vote in favor.

The FY 2020-21 recommended budget was approved in the amount of $284,108,192.13 with expenditure financing coming from revenues, ad valorem taxes, and available fund balances from designated funds and projected year-end operating fund balances.

CAO Al Alt noted that the adjustments made ahead of Tuesday’s meeting reflected board direction provided during budget hearings held last week. All departments were previously directed to cut their budgets by five percent, freeze hiring certain positions, and hold off as much as possible on purchasing.

The related necessary motion approvals, which had been set to be voted on as part of the consent agenda, were moved to the regular agenda at the request of District 4 Supervisor Dennis Mills.

Mills took exception to the way certain capital assets for the Sheriff’s Office were being recorded for funding even though the board had vetted and approved it during last week’s sessions.

A Beef With Big-ticket Item Accounting

More than $720,000 of nearly $1,291,000 in total appropriations for approved capital assets are earmarked for purchase and outfitting of vehicles for the Sheriff’s Office. Although the current budget shows the bulk of it as coming from the General Fund, AB443 monies are also being applied, over $140,000 of which will wind back up in county coffers.

Sheriff Rick DiBasilio, who was on the meeting call, further clarified the funding plan, dryly noting that he would be open to a reimbursement. District 1 Supervisor Gary Tofanelli joked back that he had seen the sheriff’s AB443 $1.2 million balance and could afford it, which the sheriff drily retorted that the funds were being tapped to the tune of over $600,000 a year to keep his department’s expenditures from drawing down the General Fund.

Other major capital assets expenditures include $170,000 for a bookmobile and $130,000 for the purchase of four mobile generators for OES, both to be partially paid for with grant funding. The special district appropriations total came in at $3,712,020.

The current equity total of county’s Designated/Special Revenue Funds is $79,768,260 with listed appropriations of $39,975,787. While General Fund reserves are being held at $5,395,553, $500,000 is being pulled from the $7,237,214 Teeter Fund, a pot that builds off late fee payments to the county, something that Mills said really bothered him. “I will have to hold my nose to vote yes…the Teeter has got to be corrected,” he remarked.

Before leading the motion to approve, Tofanelli remarked he was voting for it because it is a preliminary budget. “I do not agree with some of the things in it…we will see when we get to August when the state has done everything it’s going to do and we are looking at our final budget, and we have everything closed…and some better projections.”

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