Sonora, CA — The Tuolumne County Supervisors have approved the $54.9 million preliminary budget for the fiscal year starting July 1st 2013.
The Board voted unanimously, the budget was reduced to cover a $3.3 million projected shortfall over the next 3 years. The budget includes the elimination of several positions: two Sheriff’s Deputies, a Sheriff’s Dispatcher, Sheriff’s Clerk, Building Maintenance Supervisor, Systems Analyst, CRA Planner, and an Animal Control employee. Only two of the positions, the Building Maintenance Supervisor and Animal Control, are currently filled. According to County Administrator Officer (CAO) Craig Pedro Craig Pedro two of the lay offs are eligible for retirement.
CAO Craig Pedro told the Supervisors that the county will receive some funding it was not expecting to receive when the preliminary budget was first approved. Notably Federal PILT money (payment in lieu of taxes) made available from the General Fund of the U.S. Treasury on June 13th in the ammount of $1,908,579. The money for Tuolumne County was part of $399.8 million payed out to 1,900 local jurisdictions from “The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act”.
Sheriff Jim Mele and two community members made statements about the need to make funding the Sheriff department a priority. Members of the board mentioned the priority of fixing roads that continue to cost more to maintain when they are not repaired. Pedro advised that the new PILT money be held until a decision on how to spend it can be made at the final budget meeting.
District Two Supervisor Randy Hanvelt asked Pedro what would happen if the Secure Rural Schools funding was not available. Pedro says “We have $438,000 roughly related to secure rural schools. We would have a $438,000 hole in the road fund.”
For more on the budget view the news story Budget Debate Today.
Possible funding for the Tuolumne County Arts Council and the Mother Lode Fair were postponed until the final budget hearing scheduled for September 3rd.
The rest of the Supervisor’s meeting is in closed session to discuss the lawsuit filed by Citizens for Responsible Growth related to Columbia Apartment Complex.