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Spending increase on the table for proposed county budget
county budget pic
The County has undertaken a significant expansion of its Public Safety Center, at a cost exceeding $150 million, with the vast majority, 90 percent funded by the State. - photo by Journal file photo

The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors will consider a Proposed Budget for 2016-17 that includes a $21.7 million increase in spending over last year. While appropriations are expected to increase, so is revenue at $28.6 million over the 2015-16 Adopted Final Budget.

"The theme of this year’s budget is Focus on the Future,” stated Stan Risen the chief executive officer of Stanislaus County.  “Priorities for the county will continue to be implementation of the Public Safety Restoration Plan, the Technology Innovation Program which is bringing more services for the public online, and the Focus on Prevention effort to improve the quality of life for all our residents.

"The county continues to cautiously restore services to the community, while acknowledging that the positive growth experienced in the local economy over the last two budget years has slowed,” he continued.

The Recommended Proposed Budget totals $1,119,019,085 and reflects an increase of approximately 2 percent or $21.7 million for all funds as compared to the 2015-2016 Adopted Final Budget of $1,097,281,913.  The General Fund totals $288 million, which has increased approximately 3.2 percent or $9 million from the 2015-2016 Adopted Final Budget of $278.9 million.

The General Fund appropriations are approximately $288 million for the 2016-2017 Recommended Proposed Budget compared to last year’s Adopted Final Budget of $278.9 million. Special Revenue appropriations are up 1.3 percent from $648.8 million to $657.5 million, Capital Projects are up .65 percent from $1.54 million to $1.55 million, Enterprise Funds are up 3.5 percent from $72.5 million to $75.1 million with Internal Service funds up 1.5 percent from $95.5 million to $97 million.

The county will be using fund balance and retained earnings in several areas to balance the Proposed Budget. Net county cost savings will be added back into the budget at the time of the Recommended Final Budget. A total of $38.3 million in balancing funds are proposed, which is a decrease of 15.2 percent from last year’s Adopted Final Budget.

The Proposed Budget includes an increase in staffing of 72 positions to 4,243. A total of 61 new positions are recommended in the following departments: Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (16), Community Services Agency (5), Environmental Resources (2), General Services Agency (4), Health Services Agency (7), Probation (13), Public Works (1), Sheriff (12) and Strategic Business Technology (1).

The county’s retirement plan is currently one of the healthiest funded plans in the State, however, it is expected that retirement costs will continue to be a significant cost driver for the County with annual increases and future changes are expected to increase the employer contribution rate by 4 to 5 percent or higher.

The Board of Supervisors is continuing its policy of maintaining a Contingency Reserve of 8 percent of the three-year average of Discretionary Revenue.

Over this next year, the county will begin implementing a two-year budget cycle more closely linked to Board priorities, as well as a continued movement into improved performance outcome, according to the Proposed Budget.

A public hearing before the Board of Supervisors to consider the adoption of the 2016-2017 Recommended Proposed Budget has been scheduled for 9:05 a.m. Tuesday.  The meeting will take place in the basement Board Chambers located at 1010 Tenth Street in Modesto.

The Stanislaus County 2016-2017 Recommended Proposed Budget is available for public review at the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors Office, the County’s web site at or at any of the 13 libraries located throughout Stanislaus County.