Tuesday, June 26, 2007

County Budget Passes In Entirety

County Budget Passes In Entirety
By Ben Antonius

FAIRFIELD - The first day of county budget talks bounced from discussing the condition of the area historical archives to economic development to the Solano County Grand Jury.

The Board of Supervisors set aside those topics and several others for discussion Monday as they perused the proposed 2007-2008 budget. The board reviewed and approved the entire budget after a nine-hour meeting.

The county archives are kept in an Enterprise Drive warehouse, which suffered a small flood on June 5 and 6, damaging some of the documents stored there. The incident happened when a small fire in a building adjacent to the county archives triggered the sprinkler system, which sent a stream of water running through the archive room.

Volunteer Leslie Batson said conditions need to improve before something more serious happens to the archives, showing the board a 19th century document that was damaged in the incident.

County staff members should report back by August with specific plans for how to protect the archives in the future, said Supervisor Barbara Kondylis.

"The volunteers are sitting out there, worried that all their work is for nothing," Kondylis.

The board also voted to increase its contribution to the Solano Economic Development Corporation, a non-profit organization that works with public agencies on marketing to encourage businesses to relocate to Solano County and local businesses to expand.

"I think it sends a message to the business community and the community in general that we're concerned about the types of jobs here," said Supervisor John Vasquez.

Kondylis voted against the change, which will roughly double the county's contribution to Solano EDC to $45,000. She said the county should consider spending the money on other non-profits, such as ones that focus on children's' health and development.

Vasquez also criticized the Solano County Grand Jury for a recent series of reports on the county animal shelter and the Mare Island Historic Park Foundation. He said the jury system is antiquated and suggested that the jury reports include ideas on solutions to the problems they identify.

"There's never going to be enough money to do everything," he said.

Reach Ben Antonius at 427-6977 or bantonius@dailyrepublic.net.

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