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Inyo County Fiscal Year 2023-2024 Recommended Budget Available Online

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Inyo County Fiscal Year 2023-2024 Recommended Budget Available Online 

A searchable version of the entire Fiscal Year 2023-2024 Inyo County CAO Recommended Budget document  is now available online at the County’s webpage at https://www.inyocounty.us/services/county-administrators-office/county-budget-analysis. The document’s publication presents an opportunity for the public to review the  proposed $156,244,001 spending plan, which will be brought before the Board of Supervisors for adoption later  this month.

Budget Hearings are scheduled to commence at 10:15 a.m. Tuesday, September 12, and will continue as  necessary for consideration of adoption of the Fiscal Year 2023-2024 County Budget.

Publication of the budget was made possible by many weeks of analysis, calculation, research, meetings,  planning, writing, and review by staff countywide. In particular, completion of the budget is owed to the  painstaking efforts of the Inyo County Budget Team consisting of Auditor-Controller Amy Shepherd, Senior  Budget Analyst Denelle Carrington, and County Administrator Nate Greenberg, with assistance from  Administration staff.

The finished product reflects efforts by the Budget Team to achieve fiscal resiliency and stability in the face of  fiscal uncertainty and the looming threat of a recession. The budget is balanced, as required by law, and relies  on an estimated $4.2 million in fund balance (essentially, money unspent in FY 22-23) to close budget gaps and  avoid reduction of services. Auditor-Controller Shepherd will certify the exact amount of fund balance available  at the September 12 hearing. Staff will recommend the Board approve a healthy contribution to reserves from  any funding certified above and beyond the $4.2 million. Doing so, Greenberg noted, will further place the county  on stable footing should an economic downturn become reality over the coming year.

“The budget … has been crafted through a team effort. This begins at the department level, demands the  attention of the Budget Team, and extends all the way to the Board of Supervisors,” CAO Greenberg writes in  the budget’s Executive Summary. “Collectively, we have taken a measured approach to financial planning for  the coming fiscal year which strives to balance important ongoing efforts, supports new initiatives, and  thoughtfully plans for the future – with all its uncertainty.”

That said, the primary focus areas for this fiscal year are further stabilization of and improvements to the delivery  of County services, and important infrastructure initiatives which leverage once-in-a-lifetime funding  opportunities.

“I believe that, in many ways, Inyo County is entering its heyday. A number of significant initiatives on the horizon  will likely shape the future of the region for decades to come,” Greenberg writes. “Furthering a commitment to  air service, investing in broadband infrastructure, focusing on housing development, and leveraging technology  more effectively all stand to benefit the residents and visitors of Inyo County, and the Eastern Sierra as a whole.”

The Executive Summary highlights the various ongoing and proposed initiatives recommended for funding,  including:

  • Continued progress toward the acquisition of the County landfills from LADWP and an initiative aimed  at resolving land tenure issues;
  • Design and construction of last-mile broadband projects funded by Local Agency Technical Assistance  and Federal Funding Account grants;
  • Award of a $2 million Congressional Directed Spending (earmark) request to assist with the construction  of a new terminal building at the Bishop Regional Airport;
  • A pending Congressional Directed Spending (earmark) request to construct two new fire stations in Tecopa and Charleston View for the Southern Inyo Fire Protection District;
  • Upgrades to the Independence Correctional Detention Facility security system;
  • Creation of a new inmate-run laundry program;
  • Continued investment in the delivery of commercial air service at Bishop Airport (BIH) which includes  operational costs, a minimum revenue guarantee contribution, and allocating funds for the pre construction activities associated with a new terminal building;
  • Investment in new online permitting software in conjunction with the City of Bishop to streamline  operations in Planning, Building, and Code Enforcement;
  • Allocation of funds to stand up a new leadership development program in partnership with the  California State Association of Counties (CSAC) Institute;
  • Restructure of Correctional Officer program which will allow the Sheriff to put four additional deputies  on patrol; and
  • Creation of a new Emergency Medical Services budget unit to assist with the new costs associated  with supporting 911 ambulance service throughout the County.

The Recommended Budget also allocates $2.9 million from various funding sources towards deferred  maintenance projects, including repairs and upgrades at the Historic Courthouse, Eastern California Museum,  Inyo County Jail, the Animal Shelter, Bishop and Lone Pine senior centers, and the Big Pine Town Hall.

“Additionally, Inyo County will be focused heavily over the coming year on recovering from the impacts of a  record-breaking winter, followed by significant spring weather events, as well as Tropical Storm Hillary which  caused millions of dollars of damage to County roads and infrastructure from various other agencies,” Greenberg  adds.

The Executive Summary offers concise information about the County’s income (from taxes, fees, and other  sources), a breakdown of expenses by function (i.e., Public Safety, Roads, Public Assistance, Public Health,  General Services, etc.), and notes the continuing hard work of many Department Heads to reduce expenses  and make the most of available revenue sources.

The budget itself details all of the anticipated revenue and proposed expenditures for each of the County’s 19  departments and 130-plus budget units for the 2023-2024 Fiscal Year, which runs from July 1, 2023 through  June 30, 2024. (On June 13, the Board of Supervisors adopted a modified version of the 2022-2023 Board  Approved Budget to serve as the Preliminary 2023-2024 Fiscal Year Budget until a final version could be  presented and approved this fall.)

The public is encouraged to take part in the upcoming Budget Hearings.

This meeting is accessible to the public both in person and, for convenience, via Zoom webinar. The Zoom webinar is  accessible to the public at https://zoom.us/j/868254781. The meeting may also be accessed by telephone at the  following numbers: (669) 900-6833; (346) 248-7799; (253) 215-8782; (929) 205-6099; (301) 715-8592; (312) 626-6799.  Webinar ID: 868 254 781. Anyone unable to attend the Board meeting in person who wishes to make either a general  public comment or a comment on a specific agenda item may do so by utilizing the Zoom “hand-raising” feature when  appropriate during the meeting (the Chair will call on those who wish to speak). Generally, speakers are limited to three  minutes.

Remote participation for members of the public is provided for convenience only. In the event that the remote  participation connection malfunctions for any reason, the Board of Supervisors reserves the right to conduct the meeting  without remote access. Regardless of remote access, written public comments, limited to 250 words or fewer, may be  emailed to the Assistant Clerk of the Board at [email protected].

In addition to being posted online, the proposed budget documents are available for public review at the Clerk of the  Board’s Office, 224 N. Edwards St., Independence, during business hours.

For more information, contact the Assistant Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, P.O. Drawer N, Independence, CA  93526, [email protected], and (760) 878-0373.

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