Jun 8, 2010 6:43 PM
Butte County Supervisors accepted the preliminary budget for the coming fiscal year, during their Tuesday meeting. The proposal includes an overall budget of just over $425 million and a general fund of $128.5 million dollars. That is about $5 million dollars more than the current year, but officials say it does not make much of a difference. "The general fund in which the Board of Supervisors has discussed is increasing by approximately four percent, but really the service level remains largely the same because simply the cost of living and cost of doing business has gone up," Butte County Deputy Administrative Officer Sang Kim explained.
Here's where the bad news comes in. Indian gaming funding which totals about $450-thousand dollars will no longer be available for this coming year. The state is most likey going to keep the money, meaning a big cut for the Cal-Fire and Butte County Fire Departments. The loss of that funding could mean all of the county-owned fire stations will have brown-outs, which means two stations will be closed per day. "We'll do our best to mitigate that by moving our resources around to make sure stations are covered as much as they possibly can," Chief George Morris from the Butte County Fire Department stated.
Currently, only ten stations are affected by brown-outs. Chief Morris says the closures will be rotated, and he assures us they will be prepared to fight whatever fires flare up. "People can be held on because of fire danger, that will allow us to cover all those fire engines again, that's with the relationship with Cal Fire and being able to use the emergency funding in certain circumstances, so it helps out quite a bit."
A public hearing on the proposed budget will take place June 22nd at 1:30 p.m.