SANTA CRUZ COUNTY, Calif. (KION) The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors approved an $878 million placeholder budget so the County can keep responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, but it will require some cuts.
The budget is a $36 million decrease from last year. The county said reductions are mainly due to the end of one-time funding for capital projects, but do not include COVID-19 related revenue losses.
To reduce the budget, there will be 19 weekdays over the next year when only critical services are offered.
The days the county will only be open for critical services include:
- July 24, 2020
- Aug. 21 and 28, 2020
- Sept. 4, 2020
- Oct. 9 and 30, 2020
- Nov. 25, 2020
- Dec. 28-31, 2020
- Jan. 29, 2021
- Feb. 5, 2021
- March 5 and 19, 2021
- April 9 and 30, 2021
- May 14, 2021
- June 11, 2021
In addition to only offering critical county services on 19 days, county employees will take a 7.5% pay cut, or 10% for Department Heads and County Supervisors.
“COVID-19 has been catastrophic not only to those directly impacted by the pandemic, but also to County finances,” County Administrative Officer Carlos J. Palacios said. “The impact has been twice the Great Recession. Fortunately, we planned for economic downturns by building up our financial reserves and have the support of our employees, who are making sacrifices to minimize cuts to local services.”
The County is expected to take more steps in August to address more budget shortfalls that they expect. It will reconvene budget hearings Aug. 10-13 to finalize another $15-$20 million in reductions.