El Dorado County CAO recommends $865 million budget
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — El Dorado County Chief Administrative Officer Don Ashton released his 2022-23 fiscal year recommended budget to the Board of Supervisors May 27. The total recommended budget is $864.9 million, which is a $93.1 million (12%) increase over the 2021-22 fiscal year $771.8 million adopted budget, and includes all governmental funds, including the use of special revenue funds.
The Board of Supervisors will vote to adopt the recommended budget at a special meeting June 7.
The recommended budget fully funds the General Fund contingency at $16 million and general reserves at $10.75 million, in accordance with the board’s budget policies. Additionally, this recommended budget meets the board’s new policy goals of contributing $6 million to the designation for capital projects and exceeds the policy goal of contributing $5 million of discretionary revenues to road maintenance by $2 million, for a total contribution to road maintenance and snow removal services of $7.95 million.
The increase in the total recommended budget can primarily be attributed to the Mosquito Bridge replacement project, Caldor Fire hazardous tree removal projects, the second allocation of American Rescue Plan Act funding and increased state and federal grants and allocations in the Health and Human Services Agency, as well as compensation increases provided to county staff.
“Due to the board’s constraints and adherence to fiscal and budget policies that have been developed over the past six years, as well as much higher than anticipated discretionary revenues and federal funding associated with the CARES Act and American Rescue Plan, the county’s General Fund is in a strong position,” Ashton said.
Total General Fund appropriations are recommended at $397.6 million, which is $27.1 million (7%) more than the 2021-22 fiscal year adopted budget of $370.5 million approved by the board in September 2021.
The budget also addresses the board’s previous direction by including the following:
— $3.9 million for the sheriff’s helicopter program, including $800,000 in ongoing operational costs funded by $400,000 from Transient Occupancy Tax revenue and $400,000 from the General Fund.
— $2.5 million to support one-time costs for local fire districts.
— $300,000 to establish the Office of Wildfire Preparedness & Resilience.
— $2.9 million set aside for future CalPERS cost increases.
— $2.15 million set aside for the 2023-24 fiscal year Public Safety Facility loan payment.
— $1 million for the Diamond Springs community park and $250,000 for the Chili Bar park project.
— An additional $9.8 million set aside in contingency to address future unknown cost increases relative to inflation and economic uncertainty.
— $20 million in federal revenue and expenditures to begin construction of the Mosquito Bridge.
— $95,600 to Arts and Culture El Dorado County.
— $76,500 to offset maintenance costs for the Placerville Aquatic Center.
“Although the county currently sits in a secure economic position due to previous board decisions and diligent staff work, we cannot ignore the warnings of many experts who are predicting a recession and the impact it would have on our ability to provide goods and services at the current level,” Ashton said. “Therefore, the most prudent approach is for the board to maintain these reserves and contingency amounts, without authorizing any additional spending at this time.”
State law requires counties to have a budget in place no later than June 30 of each year. The recommended budget can be found at http://www.edcgov.us/Government/CAO/Pages/Fiscal-Year-2022-2023-Recommended-Budget.aspx.
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