Tuolumne County Supervisors Approve Final FY 2020-21 Budget
Sonora, CA — Some of the discussion at today’s special Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors budget meeting was about the library and fire services.
The supervisors voted 4-1 to approve a final budget for the fiscal year that will run through the end of June. The total budget of $204-million is a $7.8-million decline from last year’s budget. The General Fund budget, however, which the county as the most discretion over, is up by $1.8-million to $82.9-million.
The report delivered by CAO Tracie Riggs and Assistant CAO Eric Erhardt noted that the increase is partially due to $4.3 million in one time Federal Cares Act money and $1.8 million in California Climate Investment dollars. (The CARES Act money is set to expire at the end of the year)
A late decision was to set aside $250,000 in contingency money as the county is planning to have discussions with the Groveland Community Services District about taking over its “Amador Plan” fire contract. GCSD has expressed concern about fully funding its fire services in the years ahead, the county leaders indicated that service demand could increase with more businesses, and lodging, being built on the Highway 120 corridor. Supervisor John Gray, who represents the south county, was adamant about moving the talks with GCSD forward, and the other board members agreed.
Supervisor Ryan Campbell was the lone no vote on the budget, and indicated it was because of cuts to library services. The main Sonora Library and the Groveland branch are scheduled to reopen in October and the Tuolumne branch in November. The Twain Harte branch and the bookmobile are not funded in the budget, but the county agreed to reassess those services later in the year. As it stands, the library staffing will drop from 9.5 full-time equivalent positions last budget year, to 5.5 this year, and that will result in layoffs. Assistant CAO Erhardt noted that as part of a reorganization of the Recreation Department, some of those staff members may also help at the library during off-times. Supervisor Campbell said he was “skeptical” that the library could still successfully operate at the reduced level, and indicated a desire to see more staffing.
As part of the budget, the supervisors also agreed to temporarily freeze, with plans to fill at a later time, 15 currently unfilled positions in the Sheriff’s Office, Probation Department, Health and Human Services Department and Community Development Department.
You can find the entire budget by clicking here.