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It’s official: Plumas County adopts budget

Debra Moore
Staff Writer
Four and a half months and 300 pages later, Plumas County has a budget. 
The Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted the $74.5 million spending plan for 2012-13 during its Oct. 2 meeting.
Because the budget has been discussed, debated and dissected for weeks, there was no public comment and minimal board discussion during the meeting.
“In 20 years, this is the most difficult (budget) I’ve ever been involved with,” said Board Chairman Robert Meacher, who, along with his fellow supervisors, met with representatives of every department that is funded by the county general fund, and reviewed their budgets line by line.
Without a county administrative officer or auditor, the supervisors assumed the duties normally undertaken by those individuals. 
It’s an exercise that Susan Scarlett, the county’s budget consultant, thinks benefited the supervisors. 
“I still encourage you to have workshops with non-general fund departments,” she told the supervisors.
Supervisor Jon Kennedy agreed, noting that Public Health “did a heck of a job” in finding ways to help fund county services, and he hoped that other departments could tap that same potential.
The adopted budget contains 361.743 positions, down from 367.830 last year. 
General fund reserves are $1,564,917. The fund balance is $564,035 and the contingency fund is $263,000. 
Meacher drafted a budget summary that the full board adopted Oct. 2. However, due to some errors, the board was scheduled to adopt a revised budget summary during the Oct. 9 meeting. 
The summary included these highlights:
—General fund services have been reduced.
—Fair is funded with continued reductions to fair employees’ salaries.
—CAO’s office is unfunded.
—Funding remains eliminated for tourism, arts and chambers.
—General fund contribution to sheriff reduced by $500,000.
—Museum deputy eliminated and services and supplies funded by the Museum Association.
—Bond payment for Health and Human Services building funded at $1,021,625. 
On behalf of the entire board, Meacher also used the summary to thank the Auditor’s Office, human resources director, assessor and treasurer for their assistance with the budget, as well as the county’s employees and department heads.
“Finally, without the help of our budget consultants, Susan Scarlett and Craig Goodman, this budget would not have been possible,” he wrote.
Scarlett, in turn, thanked the board, department heads and fiscal officers for their work.
She said the budget that they worked on had a “good eye on the future.” 

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