County Budget


Other Key Documents

County Executive Officer FY 2023-2024 Budget Message

A budget is more than numbers or dollars. It represents a carefully crafted plan that reflects community priorities and services essential to our residents’ health and safety. We get to see the direct impacts every day – a 60-year-old resident on a fixed income who watched Cashin’s Field housing project being built from where he lived at Rankins Trailer Park. Now, as a resident of Cashin’s Field, he continues to have easy access to our transit system, which he uses daily, with close access to grocery stores, pharmacies, and even his church. Most importantly, he gets to stay in the community he’s lived in for over 40 years, despite the increasing housing costs that risk outpacing seniors on a fixed income.

In a rural community like Nevada County, we are your neighbors, family, and friends. This budget reflects our commitment to deliver beyond core government services through careful oversight, planning, and teamwork to support a thriving community, and is reflected as we move forward with eight clear objectives for 2023/2024:

  • Fiscal Stability and the maintenance of the County's Core Services is at the core of our eight objectives and has been a Board priority since 2010. This strategy has positioned us to build strong reserves and weather economic challenges. Our core services, defined as services that are essential to what we do, include health and human services, housing, information and general services, libraries, community development, and public works, and all the large and small services and departments that serve our community’s health and vitality. This budget represents a balanced approach to capitalizing on grant opportunities while also preparing for potential challenges.  
  • Emergency Preparedness continues to be a top priority. Significant winter storms have resulted in large scale power outages and internet disruptions, infrastructure damage, brought school and public services to a standstill and increased our fire season risk with extreme amounts of drying brush and down trees. Our Office of Emergency Services continues to provide avenues for individuals and communities to become more resilient through free green waste events and awarding 26 micro-grants to our growing number of Firewise Communities, as well as bringing in funding for three large-scale shaded fuel breaks to create 1,000 acres of new protection for residents and multiple planning projects to improve our preparedness.
  • Economic Development focuses on sustaining our rural quality of life through resiliency, high-quality jobs, investment in infrastructure, and bolstering partnerships that align with these goals. This year, we adopted the Greater Higgins Area Plan to guide the area’s future economic development, housing, community character, and recreation; secured and distributed $107,500 in grant funding from the CA Office of Small Business Advocates to 43 Nevada County businesses; administered over $2 million in American Rescue Plan Act funded Community Resiliency Grants to 34 eligible entities; and connected with over 70 businesses, nonprofits, individuals, agencies and regional and state partners to introduce the County’s economic development office as a new resource to support the economy.
  • Nevada County is a leader among rural counties in expanding Broadband. Since 2020, we have issued nearly $700,000 in “Last-Mile” grants to local Internet Service Providers. Last year, we launched the Need for Speed survey, which has received over 4,000 responses to date and continues to inform our broadband strategy by identifying where broadband is needed most. In March, we approved a Countywide Broadband Environmental Impact Report, putting Nevada County in the position to have more shovel-ready projects and be first in line for competitive state and federal broadband dollars.
  • New to the Board objectives for 2023 is Climate Resilience. This objective was established in recognition that Nevada County is vulnerable to a range of climate-related hazards, and we have an opportunity to build off our current efforts, from continuing to harden our infrastructure against wildfires and snowstorms to pursuing new funding opportunities. To kick off our efforts, we’re looking forward to hosting a CivicSpark Fellow who will seek funding and advocacy opportunities, and we plan to add two 35-foot electric zero-emission buses to our fleet this Fall.
  • We continue to see significant progress on our Housing and Homelessness objectives, including the opening of Cashin’s Field – a 51-unit affordable housing project in Nevada City for local working families and long-time residents, completed through the newly established regional housing trust fund, a collaborative partnership with the City of Nevada City and the City of Grass Valley. Over this next year, we expect to see progress on The Commons Resource Center, which will provide a centralized service location for individuals experiencing homelessness; on identifying funding to start Lone Oak Phase II, a senior housing project that will double the existing onsite units; and the launch of an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU or “granny unit”) workbook this Fall to make this type of housing more accessible and easier to navigate for residents to help increase our housing stock.
  • Finally, the Board added Recreation as an objective in 2022 to promote sustainable recreation in partnership with community providers. We are currently underway on our Recreation and Resiliency Master Plan to identify recreation needs and articulate a long-term vision for managing open spaces and recreation resources, thanks to a $200,000 grant. This year Outdoor Visitor Safety Fund grants will award another $200,000 in addition to the $415,570 awarded in 2022 for high-impact, shovel-ready recreation projects.

For the last eight years, this document has been recognized for its excellence and distinguished budget presentation by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada. This recognition is due to the outstanding work of Martin Polt, Deputy County Executive Officer, and the budget team of Barry Anderson and Shauneen Deschaine, along with our temporary budget analyst, Sarah Holyhead. Thanks also to supporting CEO staff Ariel Lovett, Brittni Inks, Taylor Wolfe, Heather Heckler, and the many high-performing fiscal personnel throughout the organization. 

We also honor the work of the Board of Supervisors’ Budget Subcommittee, Chair Ed Scofield and Vice-Chair Hardy Bullock, for their generous commitment of time reviewing budgets with serious scrutiny, careful analysis, and deep caring for the community.

We are prepared for economic uncertainties, adapting to an evolving world, and focused on a vibrant future for Nevada County. In short, we are living our mission: to work with the community to develop sound and innovative public policy, provide strong leadership and deliver excellent services in a fiscally responsible manner. This budget represents that work in action and our commitment to providing the highest standards of service to our community.

Respectfully submitted,

Alison Lehman

County Executive Officer

Document Requirements

Note, you'll need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these files.