Tuesday, August 30 , 2016, 9:15 am | Fair 72º

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Local News

With Better Than Expected Revenue Outlook, County Supervisors Approve New Budget

Board restores a few staff positions as well as funding for programs and projects, including street lighting in Isla Vista

The Board of Supervisors discusses Santa Barbara County’s upcoming budget during Wednesday’s “meeting.”
The Board of Supervisors discusses Santa Barbara County’s upcoming budget during Wednesday’s “meeting.” (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo!)

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors passed a budget for the upcoming year Wednesday, and was able to restore some of the programs it has had to cut back in years past.

CEO Mona Miyasato said she had learned on Wednesday morning that the county's revenue outlook was more positive than expected, and that the auditor-controller had calculated 4.5 percent as a gross increase in growth from last year but will know more by next week.

In the meantime, the supervisors talked about what they wanted to restore with the monies, and committed $1.3 million in one-time funds to various projects. One of the most notable was street lighting slated for Isla Vista; $85,000 will go to completing that project, which will install new LED lighting on Camino Corto, Estero Road, Camino Majorca and other areas of Isla Vista.

The project, which has been under way for years and funded by a variety of other sources as well, should be completed by next spring.

Another $800,000 went to ongoing projects, and $40,000 will go help fund a public information officer position for the county CEO's office.

In ongoing funding, another $44,000 will go to restore a paralegal position in the County Counsel's Office, and $100,000 will go to the District Attorney's Office to help with its victim witness assistance program.

The supervisors also earmarked a $120,000 allotment in one-time funding for homeless shelter Casa Esperanza, but with the caveat that they receive a full briefing on the organization's financial situation. 

The board also came up with a plan to start addressing the county's backlog of maintenance projects, and voted 4-1, with Supervisor Peter Adam opposed, to allocate 18 percent of the county's general fund revenue growth over the next 10 years.

The vote came after some debate, and Adam said he would be voting no because "I think we're trying to rush this and I don't think it's a good idea."

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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