The following is a press release from an organization unaffiliated with Voice of OC. The views expressed here are not those of Voice of OC.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Carrie Braun
Public Information Manager
Office: (714) 834-7218
County Unveils FY 2017-18 Recommended Budget
Santa Ana, CA (May 10, 2017) — The County of Orange’s Fiscal Year 2017-18 Recommended Budget has been released for review by the Board of Supervisors and the public. It is available online at http://www.ocgov.com/gov/ceo/deputy/finance/budget.
Public budget hearings will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 13, and Wednesday, June 14, at the Hall of Administration Board Hearing Room, 333 W. Santa Ana Blvd., Santa Ana. The budget is divided into seven sections or programs: I Public Protection; II Community Services; III Infrastructure and Environmental Resources; IV General Government Services; V Capital Improvements; VI Debt Service; and VII Insurance, Reserves and Miscellaneous.
The final budget vote is scheduled for June 27, 2017.
“The County continually strives to provide high quality services and advance major initiatives that enrich the lives of Orange County residents,” said County Executive Officer Frank Kim. “The combined efforts of the Board of Supervisors and County employees toward careful and responsible fiscal management will position the County to overcome new challenges as they arise.”
During the public hearings, budget staff will provide highlights of the County’s spending plan, discuss specific budget requests and answer questions from Board members and the public.
FY 2017-18 Recommended Budget Highlights:
- Total budget is$6.2 billion, of which $3.3 billion is the General Fund Budget.
- Of the $3.3 billion General Fund, $796.9 million is General Purpose Revenue, which is unrestricted and may be used for any purpose. Last year’s General Purpose Revenues were $744.2 million.
- The $796.9 million General Purpose Revenue includes funding of a $50 million VLFAA payment to the State. This is the fourth of five escalating payments totaling $150 million ordered as the result of a lawsuit over the distribution of vehicle license fees. This payment was included within the base budget and will not come from reserves.
- The General Fund reserve balance is estimated to increase by approximately $11 million by June 30, 2017 after use of $2 million in fund balance for one-time capital expenditures, and automatic booking of an estimated $13 million in FY 2016-17 fund balance to reserves at year-end per Board policy.
- When compared to the FY 2016-17 adopted budget, the FY 2017-18 recommended base budget reflects an increase of $148.6 million (2.5%) and a net decrease of 303 positions. The budget increase is primarily associated with increased human services costs offset by categorical revenues, recommended funding to maintain departments’ current level of service, the FY 2017-18 VLFAA payment owed to the State and appropriations for increases in other various programs.
The FY 2017-18 Recommended Budget includes the following key initiatives:
- Building A System of Care: The County is moving forward with several key initiatives to improve the overall response to homelessness across the region. North, Central and South Service Planning Areas (SPAs) have been initiated in an effort to engage all 34 cities in coordinated strategies promoting increased investments in outreach, services and affordable housing developments, and working to engage community-based resources from housing developers, nonprofit organizations and faith-based partners.
- Housing Initiatives: The County of Orange serves as the lead for the Continuum of Care (CoC), and was awarded $22 million to renew critical resources for existing homeless housing and services countywide for individuals and families. The CoC awarded funds for a variety of projects, including: permanent supportive housing; rapid rehousing; Coordinated Entry System; Homeless Management Information System (HMIS); and a planning grant supporting the work of 14 agencies in our community, including the OC Housing Authority.
- Shelters: The County’s Bridges at Kraemer Place in Anaheim is a 24-hour, year-round multi-service center and emergency shelter opening in two phases. Phase one opened in May 2017 and will accommodate 100 program participants each night. Phase two, to be completed in summer 2018, will expand to 200 program participants each night. In addition, the County opened the Courtyard Transitional Center in October 2016 as a low-barrier, low-threshold emergency shelter. The Courtyard sleeps up to 400 and serves as a daytime drop-in center offering meals, showers, and restrooms, and provides a pathway to health care, mental health, and housing resources services through County departments, and nonprofit and faith-based organizations.
- Whole Person Care (WPC) Initiative: The County successfully competed and received a $23.5 million grant to participate in the WPC Pilot Program aimed at addressing the needs of high-risk, high-utilizing Medi-Cal beneficiaries, who often experience homelessness, severe mental illness, and substance abuse disorders.
- Civic Center Facilities Strategic Plan (CCFSP): The aim of the CCFSP is to address aging infrastructure, enhance service delivery to the community, strategically locate agencies by improving space usage efficiency, and co-locating agencies providing critical services to the public. The buildings are designed to better manage long-term occupancy, flexibility and maintenance costs.
- OC Animal Care Center: In July 2016, the County broke ground for the new animal care center being built on 10 acres of land at the former Tustin Marine base. Completion of the facility is expected by the end of 2017 and will offer indoor/outdoor temperature controlled kennels and multiple exercise yards designed to have a positive impact on the well-being of the animals.
The FY 2017-18: Recommended Budget, Budget Augmentation Requests, Key Budget Message and Department Contact List can be found online at http://www.ocgov.com/gov/ceo/deputy/finance/budget.
The County also invites members of the public to explore additional budgetary and financial information online through the OpenOC data tool, the Strategic Financial Plan and quarterly budget reports. These helpful resources can be found at: http://ocgov.com/about/openoc/.
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