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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on June 19th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 15 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 15

County supervisors add $7.13 million to final budget

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted to allocate an extra $7.13 million in addition to passing the staff-recommended budget for 2013-2014 during its final budget hearing on June 14.

Additional money went to fund more than 20 programs, departments, and projects whose representatives successfully pleaded their cases to supervisors over the previous week. A sticking point for Supervisor Peter Adam was the same one he’s pushed since he took the seat six months ago—deferred road maintenance—which caused him to take the sole dissenting vote against the $828 million plan.

“I’m pleased that we got some recognition of the deferred maintenance problem going here, it’s nice,” Adam said during the hearing. “I’m probably going to have … to vote no on this budget just because I’m going to have to make a statement that we didn’t get to where we were supposed to go. I think we’re still being irresponsible in dealing with this deferred maintenance issue.”

Adam called for the allocation of an extra $8.5 million for deferred road maintenance, but his peers agreed to fund only an additional $2 million. Supervisor Janet Wolf pointed out that it’s still $2 million more than the roads department was given in the recommended budget.

“It’s not what they want, but at least from my perspective, it’s more than what they’ve had in the past,” Wolf said. “This is a big policy decision and I guess the question is, where do you expect that money to come from at the expense of everything else?”

Some key things supervisors opted to fund with the $7.13 million are:

• $153,000 for the UC Cooperative Extension/4H Program

• $1.54 million to keep Engine 11 and three employees operating at County Fire Station 11 in Goleta and $411,300 to maintain operations at County Fire Station 22 in Orcutt

• $25,000 to maintain county warming shelters

• $860,000 for raises to unrepresented county managers

• $35,000 for a plastic bag ordinance

Other funded items included: Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Services inpatient services; the juvenile justice program; a new county attorney; a new systems analyst for the county treasurer; staffing for the Clerk of the Board; and a courthouse mural. The supervisors also allocated money to the convention and visitor’s bureau, the library, various community development projects, and Santa Barbara City College’s business development program.