Butte County, Calif. -- Road repairs, cutting library hours, and expanding the jail. Those are just some of the highlights of next year's proposed budget for Butte County.
The budget is public, but Tuesday the Board of Supervisors will officially accept the almost $543 million budget, though they still have a few weeks before they approve it.
The recommended 2018-2019 budget anticipates growth in discretionary revenue, but not enough to keep up with ongoing cost increases, which means several departments are facing reductions.
“It's an ongoing struggle, every year, of how do we continue to provide services given our slow revenue growth,” said Butte County Chief Administrative Officer Shari McCracken.
She says this is pretty standard, that expenses are growing faster than revenues.
The county will lose a total of 61.5 positions as part of this proposal, more than half of which are in the Department of Employment and Social Services.
“We're not cutting jobs. People aren't losing jobs, they're positions that have been vacant, been strategically held knowing that budget would be tight.”
As part of this, the sheriff's office will lose 6 positions, and the district attorney's office will lose two.
The budget helps with funding the jail expansion, though that won't open for a few years.
All branch libraries will also have their hours reduced.
“If you look at library services over time it's a rollercoaster. We have a bunch of hours, we cut a bunch of hours, and we add them back. Trying to add a little more of a steady line.”
She says public safety is the board's first priority, which means several construction projects are underway as well as efforts to repair roads damaged during last year's storms.
Other highlights include completing work on the Chico communication tower and funding continued enforcement of the county's local codes related to marijuana cultivation.
The official budget hearing will happen on June 26th where people can go and voice their concerns.
If you’d like to see the budget, click here.
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