Sacramento County ended the 2013-14 Fiscal Year $44 million in the black; recording the third consecutive year of financial improvement. The $3.7 billion 2014-15 Adopted Budget will be presented to the Board of Supervisors September 9.
In June, during Budget Hearings, the Board prioritized key safety net services including: emergency shelter operations: mental health services, homeless outreach and navigation, public health nursing, child abuse prevention, senior financial abuse investigation and prevention, and a myriad of other programs and services for the County’s most vulnerable residents. At Adopted Budget hearings, the County Executive is recommending a Representative Payee Program in the Public Guardian’s Office, funding for homeless youth services, and a new homeless coordinator position.
Also, with last year’s numbers totaled, and projected revenues assessed, additional funds are being recommended for public safety services including the Sheriff Department, Probation, District Attorney, Code Enforcement, Regional Parks, and Animal Care and Regulation.
“Improving economic conditions and additional revenues combined with our fiscal prudence and restraint, will allow us to focus on priorities that serve and protect the public,” said Bradley J. Hudson, County Executive Officer. “Having the funds to finance key programs, increase reserves, and retire debt allow us to plan for stability and continuous improvement in the coming years.”
Critical County activities recommended for additional funds include:
- $5 million to the Sheriff’s budget, $650,000 to the Probation Department and $850,000 to the District Attorney’s Office will address shortfalls identified at June budget hearings;
- Repayment of $12.9 million in internal borrowing;
- Additional Animal Care staff to improve call response and service;
- Additional staff and fire risk reduction programs in Regional Parks, including the American River Parkway;
- Community Development projects including enhanced road maintenance, street sweeping, and graffiti removal services, new Code Enforcement Officers and a Community Prosecutor to address problem properties, illegal dumping, and improve the quality of life in unincorporated neighborhoods: and,
- Additional reserves and contingency funds.
While services are being augmented, the budget acknowledges the fiscal challenges of future years that include increased debt service cost, negotiated salary and benefit obligations, deferred maintenance of County facilities, and $48.4 million in internal borrowing that remains to be paid, Hudson added. The increase in available funds is attributable to controlling costs and an uptick in various revenue sources.