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County Executive Officer FY 2022-2023 Budget Message

The budget represents a mission in action. Nevada County’s mission is "to work with the community to develop sound and innovative public policy, provide strong leadership and deliver excellent services in a fiscally responsible manner". In developing this budget, we understand what this means in the lives of our community: a housed veteran, a contractor moving a project through to completion, a new business assisted to thrive, or a child accessing library services. Excellent planning, careful oversight, smart analysis, and teamwork drive an efficient budget to support a thriving community. 

This budget also represents our community’s priorities. Nevada County is uniquely collaborative, a strength which contributed to our ability to weather the COVID-19 pandemic even as we responded to major fire and storm disasters and maintained essential core services. This resiliency is reflected as we move forward with eight clear objectives for 2022/2023, informed by our community and defined by the Board of Supervisors.

  • The Board continued to affirm that the County's Core Services and Financial Stability is an ongoing priority. Our core services, defined as services that are essential to what we do, include health and human services, housing, information and general services, libraries, community development and public works, and all the large and small services and departments that serve our community’s health and vitality. Strong fiscal oversight has allowed the County to weather the impacts of COVID-19 thus far, and we will continue to be prudent with our resources given ongoing economic uncertainties.  
  • Emergency Preparedness remains a top priority, as the county leads the community in all hazards planning, preparedness, response, and recovery with a focus on wildfire. As wildfires become more frequent and more destructive, heat events become increasingly common, and climate uncertainties mean more risk of droughts, floods, and extreme weather events, Nevada County must be well prepared for ongoing natural disasters.
  • The Board's Economic Development objective was central to COVID-19 recovery and remains an objective to sustain quality life in Nevada County, as we promote economic development by emphasizing resiliency and entrepreneurship; retaining and attracting high quality jobs; investing in major infrastructure projects; and working with local, state and federal partners to support our small business, nonprofit, and tourism sectors. In 2021/2022, we awarded approximately $2 million of the County's federal stimulus relief funds from the American Rescue Plan Act in Community Resiliency Grants to community organizations to bolster our local economy, and continue to implement grant and loan programs that will total $5.8 million in “Community and Economic Resiliency Funds”.
  • Cannabis was defined as an objective in 2021, and significant progress was achieved, including securing 1.2 million in grant funding to assist cannabis applicants, continuing to streamline and improve the permitting process, and bolstering illicit cannabis enforcement abilities to further support the permitted market. This remains an objective in 2022/23, focused on permitting and enforcement to promote permitted cannabis activities, and mitigation of neighborhood impacts.
  • The County will build on the progress we've made towards Housing and Homelessness objectives, which included decreasing unsheltered homelessness by 35% and reducing veterans’ homelessness by 40%, and completing 175 units of new affordable housing with the Lone Oak senior housing,  Truckee Artists Lofts, Brunswick Commons, and Empire Mine Courtyard,  and breaking ground on the 51-unit Cashin's Field project. We’ve hit a major milestone in affordable housing with over 300 new units since 2017 and over 100 more coming in 2022/23.
  • A new objective in 2021/2022, our focus to equitably expand Broadband was successful as we implemented a countywide programmatic environmental impact report that will expedite the work of internet service providers connecting more homes to the internet and secured two grants from the California Public Utilities Commission totaling $8 Million that will result in 527 new connections.

-Finally, the Board added Recreation as a new 2022/2023 objective that is reflected in this budget, to promote sustainable recreation in partnership with community providers and other jurisdictions to enhance recreational access, support public health and safety, realize economic opportunities, and preserve natural resource assets. Initiatives will support sustainability of park districts and recreation service providers, address health and safety at river crossings, lakes, trailheads, and other high-use or high-risk areas, and create a Recreation and Resilience Master Plan. 

For the last seven years, this document has been recognized for its excellence and distinguished budget presentation by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. This recognition is due to the outstanding work of Martin Polt, Deputy County Executive Officer, and the budget team of Barry Anderson, Georgette Aronow, and Pam Raymond along with our temporary budget analysts, Anne Odell, Shauneen Deschaine, and Shelly Talbot. Thanks also to Ariel Lovett, Joshua White, Taylor Wolfe, Heather Heckler, and the many high-performing fiscal personnel throughout the organization. 

We also honor the work of Board of Supervisors' Budget Subcommittee, Chair Sue Hoek and Vice-Chair Ed Scofield, for their generous commitment of time reviewing budgets with serious scrutiny, careful analysis, and deep caring for the community.

We are not just rebounding from severe disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic, but intentionally focused on a strong future for Nevada County as we remain firm in our commitment to deliver the highest standards of service to our community.

Respectfully submitted,

Alison Lehman

County Executive Officer

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