Tuolumne County Finalizes New Budget And Restructuring
Sonora, CA — After months of planning and preparation, the Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors approved a new budget for the current fiscal year, the CAO indicated that more tough decisions could be on the horizon next year.
The county worked over recent months to close a $4.2-million shortfall by restructuring county government. It included the elimination of the Community Resources Agency Director, Library Director and the entire General Services Agency.
In her presentation today, CAO Tracie Riggs noted that the new budget maintains the county’s core services, prioritizes public safety, puts $250,000 into reserves and provides a solid foundation for future budgets.
The General Fund Budget, with the various cost-saving moves, will still increase to $81.1-million, up by $1.8-million from a year ago. It is primarily due to $3.5 million in new grant revenue that will mostly go towards forest resiliency efforts. In addition, there will be increased costs related to bringing online the new county jail.
Looking ahead to the next budget year, if revenues stay flat, Riggs indicated that the county could face a roughly $2.7-million shortfall. She stated, “We need to be very careful how we spend, and we need to continue to look at where we have efficiencies, and we need to continue to look at reducing costs, especially if we don’t see any increased revenues in the future.”
The supervisors stated that the budget process this year was “painful” but “necessary,” and thanked the county administration, and staff, for their diligent efforts. They also expressed thanks to those having to be let go for the service they have provided to the county. The budget was approved with a 5-0 vote.