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June 18, 2014
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Staffing, firefighting support up in $200M Nevada County budget

Nevada County staffing levels will rise to 782 people and firefighting support will increase in a 2014-15 budget approved Tuesday by the board of supervisors.

“It’s been a hard process, a long process,” said Chairman Nate Beason in thanking county staff for their work in developing the budget.

The main portion of the $200 million spending plan, up 9 percent from 2013-14, covers salaries and benefits for staff in such departments as the sheriff’s office, corrections, community development, elections, behavioral health, public health, social services, library, and information services.

Martin Polt, the county’s chief financial officer, said the 782-person staffing level is up nine people over the current 2013-14 spending plan.

He said the added positions are mostly temporary staff assigned to medical-related programs such as MediCal and Covered California.

Of the new budget, some $6.2 million will go to public safety as part of the Proposition 172 half-cent sales tax approved by voters in 1994-95.

Nevada County fire districts will receive 9.75 percent, or $594,000, of the $6.2 million Prop. 172 funds — an increase of 0.25 percent.

The $594,000 will be distributed as follows:

Washington Fire District, $5,388; North San Juan Fire District, $30,158; Higgins Fire District, $67,936; Consolidated Fire District, $300.768; Ophir Hill Fire District, $45,127; Peardale/Chicago Park Fire District, $21,366; Penn Valley Fire District, $21,366; Rough and Ready Fire District, $25,109; Graniteville Volunteer Fire Co., $6,932.

All the Nevada County fire districts are in the process of signing memoranda of understandings with the county to contribute a portion of their Prop. 172 monies to Fire Safe Council of Nevada County.

The total contribution from all the fire districts is expected to be $15,000.

The county will match the fire districts’ $15,000 contribution, meaning that Fire Safe Council is expected to receive a total of $30,000 from the county this year.

The remaining Prop. 172 money, or $5.5 million, will go to:

— Sheriff’s Office, $1.79 million.

— Corrections, $1.8 million.

— Truckee operations, $109,000.

— District Attorney, $583,000.

— Public Defender, $259,000.

— Probation, $473,000.

— Juvenile Hall, $298,000.

— Fire planner and Fire Safe inspections, $76,000.

— Juvenile Hall (additional need), $104,000.

— Contribution to Fire Safe Council, $15,000.

In approving the new budget, supervisors authorized a decrease of $1.9 million from the general fund budget to balance the new spending plan.

Increases were also authorized in the information systems infrastructure ($250,000) and economic development infrastructure ($125,000) sections.

Polt said the county is building up funds in information systems to pay for a new computer system to administer property taxes.

He said the current system is aging and will likely need replacement. He said the economic development increase was not targeted for a specific purpose but that it is anticipated the county will need such money next year.

Supervisors also authorized an allocation of $2.08 million to a PERS pension reserve fund. Polt previously said the county anticipates needing the money because the actuarial estimates on longevity done by the California Public Employees Retirement System are rising — in other words, public employees are living longer.

Polt said Tuesday the county has a $19.6 million fund balance, or money in reserves, from the current 2013-14 budget.

For more information on the county budget, go to and click on “Board of Supervisors.”

To contact Staff Writer Keri Brenner, email or call 530-477-4239.

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The Union Updated Jun 18, 2014 03:45PM Published Jun 18, 2014 11:33AM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.