Thursday, June 15, 2006

New County Budget Nears $866 Million

New County Budget Nears $866 Million
By Mike Corpos

FAIRFIELD - Solano County's budget for the 2006-07 financial year is set to grow by about $66 million, or 8 percent over the previous year.

Solano County would spent almost $866 million in the next fiscal year, according to the plan released by County Administrator Michael Johnson Wednesday.

The Board of Supervisors is set to begin budget hearings June 26.

"Increased operational costs account for much of the proposed budget's growth. (It) reflects cost-of-living and step increases for employee salaries, increases in health and retirement costs and other overhead costs," Johnson wrote in his budget message to the supervisors. "The proposed budget also reflects the growth of revenues - particularly in sales and property taxes."

New money coming from the state, such as Proposition 172 money for public safety programs, defrayed some of the costs, Johnson said.

Overall, the budget is in good shape, and is balanced, as required by law, he said.

The general fund budget is proposed at $233.1 million, an increase of 8 percent, or $17.8 million. The general fund reflects money the county can spend without restriction, as opposed to funding that has to go to a specific program, such as welfare payments.

The public safety fund is proposed at $141.5 million, reflecting a $14.3 million increase, or 11 percent.

Because food stamps were reassigned and removed from the health and social services budget, that fund shows a 4.5 percent, or a $11.6 million decrease to a total of $244.3 million. In reality, spending for health and social services will increase by $7.5 million.

The budget is balanced by using $40.3 million left over from 2005-06, Johnson said.

Also, the proposed budget includes $34.3 million in general fund reserves.

As it stands, the budget includes 3,045 county jobs.

The proposed budget can be viewed on the Internet at

Under "Departments" click on "County Administrator" and then click on special reports.

County budget sessions begin at 9 a.m. June 26 in the board chamber at the county government center.

Reach Mike Corpos at 427-6977 or

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