Ventura, CA – On Wednesday, June 21, the County of Ventura Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a $2.86 billion balanced budget for the fiscal year 2023-24 following the County’s annual budget hearing. The budget focuses on Board priorities, including critical infrastructure, public and mental health, workforce development, and technology.
“All of the investments detailed in the budget represent the comprehensive services that are provided to the public through the programs and services administered by the County,” shared Supervisor Matt LaVere, Chair of the Board of Supervisors. “This budget represents months of hard work by staff and departments across the county.”
Key budget highlights include a total County appropriation of $2.86 billion, an increase of $162 million or 6.0% from the prior year. General fund appropriations include $1.35 billion, which represents an increase of $56.8 million or 4.4% from the prior year. Countywide full-time equivalent position allocations increased by 89 from the previous year creating a total of 10,268 positions within the county workforce. The budget includes increases in reserves with Rainy Day reserves at their highest levels at $170 million.
“We continue to have investments in infrastructure, technology, and our workforce – one of our most valuable assets,” stated Dr. Sevet Johnson, County Executive Officer. “We remain focused on providing critical services in the areas of health, social services, and public safety and have expanded our capacity in the provision of services in public and mental health. This budget represents months of work in collaboration with our Board of Supervisors, agency directors, fiscal team, and the community. I am grateful for the financial health of our county and the solid leadership of our Board of Supervisors in the management of taxpayer funds.”
Investments and recommended projects of note include:
- Homelessness: $40 million investment in the development of County-owned property to provide 63 units of permanent supportive housing, 50-110 recuperative care beds, and a clinic to be completed in the first phase of construction by Fall 2025.
- Public Safety: $50 million for the Next Generation Public Safety Radio Communications System to update radio interoperability with the nation’s FirstNet public safety radio communication system, of which $25 million was recently designated to complete Phase 1 and 2 of the project to upgrade the County’s public safety microwave system and the implementation of a 700Mhz frequency radio system to serve both County and cities’ public safety entities.
- Capital Projects: Continued investment in infrastructure and technology, including $20M for broadband infrastructure to help improve the “Middle Mile” and create improved access to broadband services for underserved and disadvantaged communities.
“The County’s balanced budget and strong financial position are the result of conservative budgeting practices, funding on-going operations with sustainable revenue streams and taking a multi-year approach,” said Kaye Mand, Chief Financial Officer.
In addition to a balanced budget, the County of Ventura continues to enjoy the highest short-term credit rating from the nation’s two top credit rating firms – Moody’s and Standard & Poors.