By Chris Cooney
Bay City News Service
The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors on Thursday adopted a $1.69 billion budget for the next fiscal year after adding back $1.7 million in services that had been slated to be cut.
The plan includes a $49 million drawn-down from reserves.
County Manager David Boesch said that the county's 2011-12 budget, which includes around $27 million in spending cuts spread across every county department, keeps San Mateo County on track to close its ongoing structural deficit, which could total $79 million in 2015 if no further action is taken.
Declining tax revenues, a deep economic recession, and reduced state funding were the primary contributors to the ongoing deficit, Boesch said.
"The darkest cloud hanging over us is really the state budget," Boesch said.
Despite uncertain economic conditions, the county was able to combine spending cuts with a drawn-down of reserves to come up with a budget plan that retained more than 90 percent of the services provided in last year's budget.
The retained services were ones deemed priorities by residents, department heads and the Board of Supervisors, Boesch said.
Among the $1.7 million in programs and services restored on the last day of the four-day budget negotiation process were family health services to 1,000 disabled and at-risk children, an aftercare program for foster youth, in-home crisis services for children in the juvenile justice system, and funding for a public health nurse to serve the isolated community of Pescadero.