The Lassen County Board of Supervisors conducted a public hearing that lasted more than 90 minutes discussing the county’s 2023-2024 budget. There was no public comment at the end of their discussion.
In the end, the board unanimously approved a $155,496,508 budget with expected revenues of $137.6 million against projected expenditures of $155.4 million. Lassen County Administrative Officer Richard Egan said the difference in the revenues and expenditures would not affect the county’s reserve funds because those amounts would be made up by previously been budgeted but but not yet spent funds, but he cautioned that kind of budget solution cannot go on forever.
According to Egan’s report to the supervisors, “Revenues and expenditures were reviewed by administration on a line-by-line basis and compared to prior year actuals. Much like past years, it has been a challenging year to reach a balanced budget. Revenues and expenditures are anticipated as outlined and budgeted expenditures will support department’s basic needs for providing services. Department heads will need to monitor budgets very closely during the fiscal year and adjustments may be needed at mid-year.”
Egan also told the supervisors the budget included some significant salary increases. He also said despite on-going problems with the county’s financial software, he thought the beginning fund balances were “reasonable accurate.”
He also noted a “slight increase” in the marijuana tax numbers due to a new dispensary opening in Westwwod.
District 2 Supervisor Gary Bridges asked about the increase in the budget for the remodeling of the Historic Lassen County Courthouse. Egan said the budget for that project in now about $13 million because construction costs have gone “wildly crazy” since the project began.
District 3 Supervisor Tom Neely suggested the county should hire a grant writer to bring in more revenue, especially for road work because, “We need to invest in the county.” He also suggested the county should reach out to the city regarding its economic development plans.