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Imperial County Board of Supervisors Approves Annual Fiscal Year Budget

-Editorial

EL CENTRO, CA.- Imperial County has always been able to maintain a balanced budget despite the economic challenges that they have faced over the years. At their Sept. 27 meeting, the Imperial County Board of Supervisors approved their annual budget knowing that they need to continue being vigilant about their finances in a global economy that is still uncertain.

Imperial County CEO Miguel Figueroa presented the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 County of Imperial Final Budget. All are done in compliance with the County Budget Act which requires counties to adopt an annual budget no later than Oct. 3rd. 

The County’s Final Budget for the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 includes a request for the adoption of the following Government Funds; General, Special Revenue, Capital Projects, and Debt Services Funds. In addition, it presented the adoption of, the Internal Service, Enterprise, Special Districts, and other Agencies Funds. The budgets presented herein, are prepared and consistent with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

The County’s Final Adopted Budget for the Fiscal Year 2022-2023 will be submitted to the State Controller’s Office on or before December 1, 2022, in a similar style format as being presented to the board, per-requisites of the California State Controller, and in conformance with Statewide Reporting Practices.

The Fiscal Year 2022-2023 final budget establishes $598.1 million in approbations, a net increase of 3 percent or $17.4 million. The appropriations include $204.7 million allocated to Public Assistance, $138.3 million for Health and Sanitation, and $135.9 million for Public Protection. More than $119 million in general fund expenses are included in this budget to ensure county departments have the resources they need to continue to deliver vital public services.

$119.4 million is budgeted in appropriations for the County General Fund, a net increase of $1.4 million or $1.3 percent over the prior fiscal year. The budget increase result primarily from increased costs associated with union contracts.

General Fund revenue is anticipated to increase by $107.4 million, or 3 percent over the prior fiscal year. The revenue increase plus of carryover fund balance creates a balanced general fund budget.

Countywide, the total number of funded positions is 2,537. Out of this figure, 797 are General Fund positions. Included in this budget are 432 vacant funded positions which include 70 General Fund Vacant positions.

For public assistance and health sanitation programs, $56.6 million will go to Social Services, $24.7 million to mental health services, and 12.5 million to substance abuse disorder assistance programs. In addition, there will be an allocation 13.8 for the foster care assistance program and $18.4 for In-Home Support Services. 

For Public Protection, $19.6 for the Sheriff Department, $18.1 for Sheriff Correction, $7.6 for Probation, $7 million for District Attorney, and $4.1 million for the public defender. 

There will be a 0.3% salary wage increase totaling $1,955,672 and a reallocation of fire department salaries of $753,739.

“As we start the new fiscal year and despite the challenges and uncertainties that surround us, we will continue to focus on achieving fiscal stability to support our community. We will continue to work on improving the quality of life of our residents including employment, physical and mental health, education, recreation, safety, and security,” Figueroa said.

The CEO added that the current fiscal situation has shown improvement, but it is important to note that they have an uncertain long-term economic forecast, ongoing recruitment and retention issues, and aging facilities that require them to maintain caution in their forecasting and decision-making.

“As always, we will keep this board up to date and adjust the budget as needed,” Figueroa concluded.

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