Officials: California budget cutbacks will be felt in Placer County, Lake Tahoe | SierraSun.com

Officials: California budget cutbacks will be felt in Placer County, Lake Tahoe

Matthew Renda
Sierra Sun

TAHOE CITY, Calif. and#8212; Funding reductions from the state of California as a result of budget constraints and gubernatorial vetoes will affect Placer County services, although itand#8217;s unclear what the specific impact will be to Lake Tahoe, officials said Tuesday.

Placer County Assistant County Executive Officer Holly Heinzen made a presentation to the Placer County Board of Supervisors during its Tuesday meeting at the Granlibakken Resort in Tahoe City, outlining which services would likely be most affected due to funding shortfalls.

and#8220;Governor (Arnold) Schwarzenegger vetoed $18 million in funding for the drug and alcohol programs associated with the voter approved California Proposition 36, which will be reflected in our budget,and#8221; Heinzen said.

Proposition 36 and#8212; passed in November 2000 and#8212; allows first- and second-time nonviolent drug possession and alcohol offenders the opportunity to receive substance abuse treatment instead of incarceration.

Furthermore, $133 million was vetoed in statewide child welfare services, representing a $1 million impact to the county, Heinzen said.

and#8220;The structural deficit will create delays in response to 3,100 abused and neglected children throughout Placer County and will impact oversight of safety and compliance checks of foster care operations,and#8221; she said.

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There will also be reductions in funding for mental health and special education services, Heinzen said.

and#8220;We will have to re-engineer or repackage how we deliver services in order to avoid serious impacts to residents,and#8221; she said.

Heinzen added that the stateand#8217;s projections of federal dollars to supplement funding are and#8220;optimistic.and#8221;

and#8220;The federal government will not be loose with money, and closing these funding gaps in the long run is not secure,and#8221; she said.

Bekki Riggan, principal management analyst with Placer County, said due to the freshness of the budget news from the state, the county has not had time to formulate what specific effects it will have on the Tahoe region.

and#8220;We are working closely with our community partners to identify future impacts,and#8221; she said.

The Placer County Board of Supervisors normally meets in Auburn, but typically meets once a year in Tahoe.

Supervisors also approved a resolution to provide the Trust for Public Land with $220,000 to pay off a loan it took out to cover the initial Waddle Ranch land purchase.

Waddle Ranch and#8212; a 1,462-acre parcel in the Martis Valley near Truckee Tahoe Airport and#8212; is set aside as open space.

David Sutton, director of the Northern California branch of the land trust, said his organization is attempting to renegotiate the loan and the countyand#8217;s contribution will afford leverage during those proceedings.

Placer County Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery said she voted for the resolution based on the contingency that the countyand#8217;s expenditure will be matched by other funding sources. The resolution passed unanimously.

Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously approved a staff recommended list of suggested alterations to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency-crafted Regional Plan Update.

Paul Thompson, planning services manager for the county, recommended TRPA incorporate allowances for domesticated hens on private residences, eliminate requirements for bike and pedestrian facilities in all future public projects, manage noise restrictions on a case-by-case basis and consider the economic feasibility of installing water quality management projects on county-owned property.