On Oct. 15, San Juan County Administrator Pro-Tem Bob Jean presented the County Council with a preliminary budget totaling $47.6 million for 2013.
The proposed budget represents a 5-percent reduction from this year's $50 million budget. No programs are eliminated, but the budget assumes a reduction of 3.2 "Full Time Equivalent" jobs, although actual worker layoffs are not expected.
Total county revenues from all sources are estimated to increase by slightly more than $1 million, including $600,000 from the voter-approved Public Safety Sales Tax and small reductions from other tax sources and from grants for various county programs.
Jean's covering memorandum points out that implementation of budget stabilization measures enacted by the County Council should result in the county reaching budget stabilization goals in each of the next three years. Budget stabilization has been achieved at least in part through a series of reserve policies approved by the council, including a required 10-percent ending fund balance, a budget stabilization fund, and mandatory debt service reserve balances.
Budget discussions with most county departments were scheduled for a "special meeting" of the council on Oct. 15. The Public Works, Roads, and Capital Improvement Plan budgets are set for further discussion on Monday, Oct. 29.
Public comment will be taken following presentation of all budget sections. The council has tentatively set formal public hearings and further council consideration for Nov. 6, with more public comment, discussion and final adoption of the budget ordinances scheduled for Nov. 20. The deadline for budget adoption, as required by the county charter, is Dec. 16.