Tentative budget hearings wrap up Tuesday in Douglas County
The caboose in the mile-long freight train that is the Douglas County tentative budget process is expected to pass on Tuesday.
That will officially mark the sixth budget meeting in a process that started in March and has so far consumed 18 hours, according to the county’s digital video system.
On Tuesday commissioners will take up the budgets for the district attorney’s office, general fund, capital improvement projects and all supplemental requests by county departments.
Assistant Community Services Director Brian Fitzgerald told commissioners on Wednesday that it was the fourth of the five meetings he’d attended on the budget.
“I’m a recreation professional,” he said. “I’m running out of ties. I went into recreation so I wouldn’t have to wear a tie.”
Fitzgerald said the number of meals served at the Douglas County Community & Senior Center have increased to about 150 a day on average to 39,817. That compares with 24,760 served in 2009-10 before the new senior center opened.
Also increasing is ridership on Douglas Area Rural Transit buses as people use them to go to lunch at the senior center.
Fitzgerald said the number of people using meals on wheels has gone down at the same time.
“We’re seeing more people go to the facility for their lunch,” he said.
Fitzgerald said the center is also seeing an increase on the other side of the age spectrum.
“We’re seeing a significant increase in the preschool program,” he said. “I was surprised at how fast it has grown. We’re seeing a lot more families with younger kids in the community.”
He said there are 75 students in the part-time preschool and only a short waiting list to date.
Community Development Director Mimi Moss discussed her department on Wednesday.
She said single family permits are remaining steady at 150-160, but the number of additions is increasing.
“A lot of people are adding onto their homes,” she said. “We are seeing more of that today than we’ve ever seen.”
She said the department is at full staff, though payroll is down.
The courts budgets were also heard on Wednesday.
East Fork Justice Court is budgeted to take in $625,844 in fines in the next budget year, which starts July 1. That’s down 8 percent from this year’s budget. Tahoe Township Justice Court is forecasting $370,374 in revenue from fines, down 7.4 percent.