STANISLAUS COUNTY -- Stanislaus County leaders on Tuesday accepted a quarterly report that cited a dramatic increase in mental health hospitalization costs, plus other budget problems that lie ahead.
The board voted 5-0 to approve budget adjustments, such as using an additional fund balance of $1.5 million for the costs of stabilizing patients admitted to Doctors Behavioral Health Center on Claus Road.
Since the fiscal year began July 1, the number of county residents admitted to the psychiatric center is running 35 percent above the budget estimate. County staff expects an additional $1.7 million in fund balance will need to be spent to cover costs for those admissions this year.
County Behavioral and Recovery Services is drawing up a plan for containing the costs through better outpatient services and cooperation with hospitals.
In other matters, a $10.8 million federal waiver for the CalFresh food stamps program is expected to end next year, and the county faces a $6.4 million shortfall for foster care and adoption assistance. The Community Services Agency is working on ideas for addressing the shortfalls.
County leaders were bracing for the possibility that California voters would reject Gov. Jerry Brown's tax initiative, known as Proposition 30. Although the initiative was designed to prevent cuts to education, supervisors feared the state could target counties for funding cuts.
In other budget adjustments, the board approved:
$200,000 for the Sheriff's Department to purchase and equip three inmate transport vehicles.
$71,000 for replacing floor covering at the public health facilities at 820 Scenic Drive.
$71,158 for the ReadingWorks adult literacy program. Funding was received from California Library Literacy Services.
Behavioral Health and Recovery Services withdrew a $68,000 request to lease 11 vehicles for mental health staff and a community response team.
Bee staff writer Ken Carlson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (209) 578-2321.
STANISLAUS COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WATCH
The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors took the following actions Tuesday:
Approved an agreement requiring a Turlock agricultural business to comply with land-use and building regulations. Dan Avila, owner of packing and shipping facilities at 1301 Washington Road, agreed to replace an unsafe truck driveway by Nov. 16 and promised to implement a dust-control plan and seek building permits for two facilities built without permits. By Feb. 1, Avila needs to furnish the county with information for permitting a house converted to offices, a barn remodel and storage building. Officials said they would start abatement measures if Avila doesn't meet the deadlines.
Accepted $59,825 in funding to improve emergency response and safety at the county's off-road vehicle parks.