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Monday, February 18 , 2019, 9:05 am | Fair 48º


County Finances Top Agenda as Supervisors Return to Work

The board on Tuesday will discuss cuts to services and programs, and how to address the state's possible tapping of general revenues

After a month-long break, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors will tackle an agenda Tuesday packed with financial challenges.

The board will discuss how best to address potential state budget effects as it faces a cumulative $60 billion shortfall, the largest deficit in its history.

The state has the ability to tap into the county’s general revenues through Proposition 1A money and can eliminate funding for key services such as road maintenance provided by the county, and reduce funding for programs such as CalWorks, Medi-Cal and Healthy Families, according to the agenda. The state most likely will resort to a combination of all three reductions.

The board also will discuss how to trim retirement and health benefits for county workers to curtail cost.

In addition, $2.6 million in cuts will be looked at for Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services, as well as about $768,000 from public health used to fund several programs, including HIV and AIDS programs. A $1.5 million cut looms for the county redevelopment agency.

The county also will lose $585,000 toward its open space program because of general-fund reductions.

Included on Tuesday’s agenda are plans for a $7.2 million Emergency Operations Center, which will be discussed and go before the board for approval. The board will vote whether to authorize construction bids to go forward on the 9,922-square-foot building.

The center would serve as a central hub of information during local emergencies, and designs show the facility equipped with a conference room, a joint information center, offices and even showers, and a break room for extended operations.

Tuesday’s board meeting will begin at 9 a.m. in the fourth-floor Board Hearing Room of the County Administration Building, 105 E. Anapamu St.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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