BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The Board of Supervisors approved the Final Recommended 2020-21 Budget for Kern County, a move that county officials say ensures Kern will be well-positioned to manage and recover from the financial and economic impacts of the pandemic.
In a statement prepared by Chief Administrative Officer Ryan Alsop, he said the effects of the pandemic will continue to cause "long-term and dramatic implications on our budget." He stated the budget would put focus on the critical needs of the residents, especially public safety services.
Alsop pointed out that two of the biggest concerns for the county were maintaining public services in the wake of a drop in consumer spending and oil revenues.
It passed‼️ The Board of Supervisors approved the Final Recommended 2020-2021 Budget for Kern County this morning. If you missed it, don't worry you can watch it at: https://t.co/xBypmbY66i pic.twitter.com/IHtXllMFwG— County of Kern (@CountyofKern) August 25, 2020
The budget totals $3,095,264,725, with $883,134,832 set aside for the General Fund and other funds totaling $2,212,129,893, including $145,817,679 for the Fire Fund. The county’s discretionary revenue, which is held in the general fund, is budgeted at $370.5 million, nearly 1 percent less than last year.
"Using a conservative estimate of future revenues, this budget ensures Kern County will be well-positioned to manage and recover from the financial and economic impacts of the pandemic," Alsop said.
Alsop stated the budget places an absolute priority on critical public safety budgets, including a focus on recruitment and retention issues. At $242 million, the Sheriff-Coroner’s Office is the single largest budget funded by the general fund. It maintains the Sheriff’s Office operations with no reductions in discretionary funding, fully funds another Sheriff’s Training Academy, critical staffing and equipment needs.
The budget also provides for spay/neuter programs, library services and secures the operations of our public libraries, avoiding permanent closures.
The board also approved $5 million in CARES Act funds to go towards a rental and mortgage assistance program.