The San Diego County Board of Supervisors Tuesday approved a $4.98 billion operational plan for the fiscal year starting July 1, which includes money for a new library in Imperial Beach.
"Construction for this project is anticipated to begin in 2014 and be completed in 2015," the budget said.
The $9.5 million library could open in time to celebrate its 100th anniversary, said librarian June Engel. IB's first library opened in 1915 and was operated out of the area's first Post Office.
Adopting the plan gives the county the authority to continue spending until its budget is formally adopted. A budget resolution is scheduled for consideration on Aug. 6.
Spending in fiscal 2013-14 will increase by 2.5 percent and includes funding for the equivalent of 16,627 full-time jobs.
"The operational plan will provide resources to allow the county to leverage the talents of 16,627 employees to continue serving the people of the region through innovative programs, improved ways of delivering services and careful stewardship of public assets," Chief Administrative Officer Helen Robbins-Meyer said.
The county faces budget challenges associated with handing over the supervision of state parolees to the county probation department and rapidly rising pension costs, according to Robbins-Meyer.
"Public safety has always been our number one priority, but it's becoming more and more of a challenge with what the state of California is doing in shifting prisoners and parolees onto our counties," Supervisor Dianne Jacob said.
New positions will be added in public safety and the Health and Human Services Agency, which will both receive a financial boost.
Public safety dollars include funding for more detention officers, operating the expanded women's jail for part of the year and higher retirement contributions.
The Land Use and Environment, and Finance and General Government sectors will also get more money.
Funding for capital projects is set to decrease, however; infrastructure spending varies widely from year to year because of the way the county funds its projects.
Work to be funded in the coming fiscal year includes renovating libraries in Alpine and Imperial Beach, as well as the assessor's branch office in El Cajon, $9.8 million in debt service for the Edgemoor Skilled Nursing Facility in Santee and about $10 million for the county's Multiple Species Conservation Program.
The county, which creates budgets for two years at a time, has proposed spending $4.81 billion in FY 2014-15.
"As in past years, the county's budget is balanced, structurally sound and meets the needs of both today and tomorrow," Robbins-Meyer said.
Before today's discussion, a group of home healthcare workers who said they had not had a raise since 2009 rallied and called on the board to "put people first."
"This is not a poor county. It's one of the richest counties in the United States," Doug Moore of the United Domestic Workers of America, told 10News. "They can do better than this."
—City News Service