El Dorado County Supervisors signed off this week on a $485 million preliminary budget plan being recommended by the Chief Administrative Office for fiscal year 2014-15.
The preliminary budget is about $13 million less than last year’s budget and aims to move forward with replacement of costly and inefficient computer systems that require extensive resources to maintain, according to the Chief Administrative Office.
That includes the installation of a new financial reporting and tracking software, a new case management system for health and human services, and new land management information and online permitting systems for the planning and building departments.
County officials said the plan forecasts a $12.5 million structural deficit for 2015-16 based on conservative revenue and expense estimates,but expect planned technology upgrades will lead to new efficiencies to reduce that shortfall.
“The strategy is to minimize future shortfalls by holding down spending until efficiencies can be gained through system and process improvements,” County Chief Budget Office Laura Schwartz said in a press release about the budget.
The preliminary budget includes funding for a slight decrease in full-time equivalent positions for a total of about 1,846 employees.
It also includes an 8 percent “rainy day” set aside, $10.7 million in reserves, $5.6 million for contingencies and about $4.8 million for capital improvement projects.
Budget hearings start Sept. 15. That’s when county officials will have a better idea how actual revenues and expenditures are shaping up for the year and settle a final budget for adoption.