Proposed Budget Boosts Infrastructure Investments

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Continued economic stability has allowed the County of Marin to invest in infrastructure over the next fiscal year.

Roads, facilities, affordable housing prioritized as plan heads to Board

The County of Marin will present its 2019-2020 fiscal year budget next week, up 7 percent from this year’s budget and including more than $14 million in new roads, facilities and affordable housing investments.

The Marin County Board of Supervisors will get a chance to accept the $630.7 million proposed budget for review during its June 4 meeting. Budget hearings are scheduled for June 17 and 18, with the second day a target date for the Board to adopt a final budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

This will be Year 2 of a two-year budget cycle. The top priorities in the proposed budget are:

    Investing in County infrastructure, such as roads, fire stations, and libraries;

    Improving disaster preparedness;

    Preserving affordable housing in the form of workforce, senior, or low-income dwellings;

    Addressing sea level rise and climate change; and

    Eliminating inequities in County policies and programs.

The County hosted a three-day springtime budget planning session in April, and all 22 departments were on board with top-quality service delivery through cross-departmental collaboration, especially with regard to emergency preparedness measures. The proposed budget allocates $600,000 to emergency preparedness, including a $250,000 contribution to the “Lessons Learned” fund created after the 2017 North Bay Wildfires and $350,000 to update business continuity and emergency plans for residents with access and functional needs.

“The wildfires we experienced in Northern California the past few years made a big impression, and we are working to better prepare for emergencies,” Budget Manager Bret Uppendahl said. “We are collaborating with local fire agencies to explore the creation a countywide wildfire prevention program.”

Uppendahl said the 2019-2020 budget, if approved as presented, will be balanced and be largely consistent with the approved two-year budget plan. It will include one-time investments toward top priorities and emerging issues as designated by the Board and residents. The largest proposed budget allocations are $7 million toward road infrastructure improvements, $5 million to facility improvements, $3 million for the Affordable Housing Trust, and $1.1 million to add to the pension stabilization reserve.

“The continued economic stability has allowed us to invest in infrastructure,” Uppendahl said. “The Board has supported investments in our top community priorities while making sure that we are preparing ourselves for future uncertainties.”

A recent County survey of residents showed a strong alignment with the Board’s top priorities.

The service areas receiving the largest portions of the County budget are Health and Human Services ($206.7 million, or 33 percent) and Public Safety ($156.8 million, or 25 percent). Taxes ($265 million, 42 percent) account for the largest source of revenue while salaries and benefits for employees comprise the largest area of expense ($374.8 million, 59 percent).

Learn more about the County’s budget overview webpage. Budget feedback may be emailed to the County budget staff.

All public meetings and events sponsored or conducted by the County of Marin are held at accessible sites. If you are a person with a disability and require information or materials in alternative formats – or if you require accommodation to participate in a county program, service or activity – please contact department staff by email or at (415) 473-7331 or (415) 473-4381 (voice/TTY).

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