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County approves 2-year budget changes

September 12, 2001|By RUDY YNIGUEZ, Staff Writer

The county Board of Supervisors unanimously approved adjustments to the county's two-year budget, including supplemental requests that increased total budget spending by $3 million, of which $1.26 million is in the general fund.

Overall, the total budget is project to have a reserve of $36.9 million at the end of the two-year cycle, June 30, 2002. Projected revenues are $243.67 million, with expenditures of $205 million.

The general fund is projected to have a reserve of $492,722. Projected revenues are $135.5 million, with expenditures of $133.8 million.

District 3 Supervisor Joe Maruca said he has concerns with the budget because it uses reserves from last year that resulted from not filling 220 positions needed with the county government. If those positions were filled the reserves would not be there, he said.

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"Our expenditures exceed income," he said this morning, adding that he expects the board next year to adopt a budget that accurately reflects revenues and expenditures.

District 5 Supervisor Wally Leimgruber asked that county charges associated with the Gateway of the Americas project be broken down for further scrutiny and be presented at the next meeting.

The budget shows the county charged Gateway landowners $165,000 for services and supplies. Included are $65,000 in professional and special services, $68,000 in special department expenses and $21,000 in overhead charges.

Tuesday's action did not include $167,117.08 requested for the pending county reorganization as proposed by County Executive Officer Ann Capela. The board will discuss the issue at Monday's committee of the whole and is expected to take action at the next day's board meeting.

In other action, the board was presented with water and sewer fees for the Gateway area. They include $1.10 per gallon capacity fee for water and $1.35 per gallon for sewer. Water connection fees would be $1,200 for a 1-inch connection, $1,600 for a 2-inch and $2,500 for a 3-inch.

A 4-inch sewer connection would cost $750 and a 6-inch would cost $775.

The board took no formal action to adopt the fees and there must also be a vote by the Gateway landowners.

On a related matter, the board delayed any action on Gateway infrastructure expense accountability as requested by Gateway area landowner John Pierre Menvielle, who said the county has run out of money and not completed all of the work agreed to.

Menvielle asked county executive staff to answer what expense line items have been worked on, how much has been spent on those items worked, how much of the original contract remains unworked, how much money is left for the remaining work, what work remains that might not be funded and how will the contract be fulfilled if there is no money remaining?

County executive staff asked that the item be delayed until more information can be obtained.

The board also:

· approved $1.77 million in security upgrades to the county jail.

· approved $54,969 for the installation of a fiber optic line between the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency building and the law enforcement communications center. The money will come from a grant.

· postponed the public hearing on the county's air quality until Oct. 16.

· approved the establishment of a special $60,000 economic development administration planning assistance grant fund and $20,000 in matching funds.

· approved an $8,000 grant to Desert Wildlife Unlimited for an upland game bird habitat development project on 720 acres of donated land for hunting.

Staff Writer Rudy Yniguez can be reached at 337-3440.

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