County budget to add fixes

Written by Chris Caskey, The Union Democrat September 18, 2012 07:59 am
Tuolumne County policymakers Tuesday will make some final decisions on this year’s county budget, allocating approximately $868,000 in one-time surplus funds in the 2012-13 spending plan.

The Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors will also likely decide on whether to take on a handful of funding requests at their regular Tuesday meeting.

The “one-time” dollars, as described in a memo to the board from County Administrator Craig Pedro, are part of about $1.87 million available in contingencies. The board opted in August to keep $1 million for a General Fund contingency and use the remaining dollars for one-time needs this year, Pedro stated in the memo.

Possible uses for the funds include: $500,000 or more for road projects, $65,000 for technology upgrades for county departments, about $126,000 to pay off all the remaining debt owed for the Columbia Airport construction of the armory and a hangar, an undetermined amount set aside for future matching funds related to the juvenile detention and jail projects of up to $150,000 for almost a dozen construction and maintenance projects such as new carpet and heating and air conditioning work at county properties.

The board Tuesday will also likely decide whether to fund a jail commander, which has been requested by the Sheriff’s Office. The commander would cost approximately $125,000 a year, according to Pedro’s memo, and has not been in place for more than two years.

The Groveland Community Services District is requesting $40,000 annually in property taxes to go toward fire department operations, and the Central Sierra Arts Council is asking for $75,000 a year for the next five years from the county.

The board approved the 2012-2013 budget on Sept. 4, though delayed deciding on these matters to give the board additional time to consider the options.

The board Tuesday is also scheduled to:

• Hear and possibly vote on final responses to the Civil Grand Jury report. This year’s report focused on the inadequacies of the county jail and recommended the county consider cutting public employee compensation. 

• Vote on a $191,375 contract award for Jax Baldwin Construction for Jamestown facade project.

• Hear an update on the Law and Justice Center.