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Placer County’s $730-million spending plan closer to reality

Gathering Inn collects revenue-sharing funding to re-open
By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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AUBURN CA - Placer County supervisors moved a step closer Tuesday to adopting a budget for the 2012-13 fiscal year. The Board of Supervisors also made one of its smaller expenditure approvals – which will provide a big help to the struggling Gathering Inn service for the homeless. On the budget front, supervisors held a public hearing that drew no public speakers, and then voted 5-0 to move forward with plans to have a final vote Sept. 25 on a $730.1 million budget. The budget is down 2.5 percent from last year’s $749.3 million, with Budget Operations Manager Graham Knaus attributing much of the drop to decreased spending resulting from the county winding down construction on the $100 million South Placer jail. Supervisors hammered out budget details at a workshop in August and made no changes to the spending blueprint Tuesday. Supervisor Jim Holmes won support for his recommendation to donate $3,500 donation from the Board of Supervisors’ revenue-sharing fund to the Gathering Inn. Holmes stated that the funding would augment $100,000 in matching funds pledged by Wells Fargo Bank ($80,000), Sutter Health ($20,000) and Kaiser Permanente ($10,000), to re-open the Gathering Inn homeless shelter service. Executive Director Suzi deFossett of the Gathering Inn confirmed after the meeting that the shelter – which incorporates more than 40 churches in a revolving round of shelters between Auburn and Roseville – will open again Monday after a seven-week closure. Holmes, a “board member emeritus” with Gathering Inn, said that the $100,000 funding – which is to be matched by other groups – could bring in as much as $200,000. DeFossett said that donations to match the $100,000 “challenge” have totaled $17,000 – including the $3,500 from the county. In other board business Tuesday: - Supervisors approved establishing a $2,500 petty cash fund to provide “buy money” for the Placer County Sheriff’s Community Service Program Alcohol Beverage Control sting operations to prevent sales to underage residents. - The board adopted a resolution to raise the county library system’s community room use fee from $10 an hour to $15. It would be the first increase in 20 years, according to the county. Revenue could increase from the current $12,000 annually to $18,000. - Representatives of the Office of Economic Development and Placer County Visitor’s Bureau reported the move to Auburn’s High Street from the Foresthill exit location this year has been a successful one. Economic Development Director David Snyder said that the new location had “exceeded our wildest expectations, so far.” Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery said the increase in people using the new location has been noticeable. The board approved a new $270,000 agreement for this year for tourism promotion.