County Supervisors approved a more than half-a-billion dollar budget for the next fiscal year, the County announced.
Supervisors unanimously approved a balanced $592.3 million budget for fiscal year 2017-18 on June 20, well in time for the July 1 start of the new fiscal year.
The budget is about 3-percent above the current fiscal year’s spending plan. “The budget prioritizes funding that allows the County to meet legal mandates and debt service requirements,” said County Budget Director, Emily Jackson, “strengthen public safety, and improve roads. It also includes funding to manage groundwater basins, continue the ‘50Now’ program, to house and serve chronically homeless individuals, regulate medical and recreational cannabis, and fund parks projects in the South County.”
That final item, new parks in South County, was recently the subject of a heated debate, after Dist. 4 Supervisor Lynn Compton, whose district includes Nipomo, argued to have more parks in-lieu monies spent in Nipomo, where SLO County has seen the most growth over the past two decades and where the majority of those funds have been raised.
Supervisors Bruce Gibson and Adam Hill of Dist. 2 and 3 respectively, argued against Compton but Supervisors John Peschong (Dist. 1) and Debbie Arnold (Dist. 5) backed Compton’s argument.
Jackson added that the budget also distribute donations to local nonprofits, and funds groundwater management, commercial pot cultivation regulations and enforcement, and affordable housing programs.
“The budget is the most important document we produce,” Jackson said, “as it outlines the County’s financial plan for the upcoming fiscal year and is intended to communicate and implement Board policy related to County operations.”
The people of San Luis Obispo County had an opportunity to weigh in on the budget during public budget hearings on June 12 and 14. For more information, see: www.slocounty.ca.gov.