BY MAIRE O’NEILL
During their first night of budget hearings Monday, Los Alamos County Council tentatively approved the following Department budgets:
County Council: $426,988
Municipal Court: $626,466
County Manager’s Office: $18,203,873 – including five budget options. Two of those options were for double fill of the County Manager ($150,270) and ERP Manager ($61,271) positions due to upcoming retirements from those positions. The third option was $20,000 for ads for new task forces established by Council including the Racial Equity and Inclusivity Task Force, Resiliency, Energy and Sustainability Task Force, and DP Road Coordination. Another option was $20,000 to have a communications survey conducted by a contractor. The fifth option was $168,657 for an intergovernmental affairs specialist to represent the County in external relationships at the local, state and federal level.
County Assessor’s Office: $691,921
County Attorney’s Office: $828,319 – including two budget options. The first option is $100,000 for professional legal services from an attorney for a pending lawsuit filed by the EPA against the County. The second option is $149,112 for the addition of an associate attorney to the office staff.
County Clerk’s Office: $732,321 – including two budget options. One was $12,200 for printing and postage costs associated with one-time mailing of voter information cards as a result of changes due to the 2000 Census Redistricting and Precinct Splits. The second option was for $76,716 for a .49 position that has been in place since FY2019.
Probate Court: $5,932
Administrative Services: $9,990,097
- $74,331 Double fill the Budget & Performance Manager position for six months due to retirement. Amount includes salary and benefits.
- $31,000 Double fill for 3 months for IM Senior Management Analyst position.
- $42,220 Cisco Security Enterprise Agreement which would consolidate currently utilized Cisco security products and add DUO Security to enable two-factor authentication in the County for the suite of security products.
- $44,400 Increase County Video Surveillance storage capacity.
- $116,465 Reinstate a Payroll Coordinator position to manage the County payroll function.
- $42,969 Upgrade Office Specialist to Technical Services Manager.
- $25,000 Annual eSignature software and training.
- $400,000 Fund replacement of the VDI and virtual server.
- $35,000 Add user accounts for temps, casuals, boards and commissions to use County email.
- $150,000 Transition to fully electronic records management.
- $28,200 Third party software support.
- $50,000 SlEM software solution for security protection
Community Development Department: $11,199,815 including four budget options. The first budget option is for $25,000 for advertising and associated costs for outreach for various projects the department is involved with. The second option is for $50,000 to hire a consultant to perform a study and develop an ordinance and program for short-term rentals in the County. The third option would provide $50,000 for the design of stand-alone restrooms and food truck pads with $450,000 in mind for future construction.
Community Services Department: $16,321,139 including the following budget options:
- $75,000 An ADA transition plan for all outdoor facilities.
- $25,000 Office furniture and expenditures associated with possible new office location.
- $13,000 Technology and equipment to support virtual programming and library operations.
- $26,574 Library collections.
- $80,000 F450 XL truck.
- $50,000 Canyon and Mesa Top restoration funding.
Councilors placed multiple budget options requested by departments on a “parking lot” list to be discussed and decided on later in the hearing process. Council will reconvene Tuesday at 6 p.m. to continue the process.
Los Alamos County does a two-year budget every other year with the first year being proposed and the second year being projected and then that subsequent year the projected budget is turned into a proposed budget. The Council per state statute can only approve the next fiscal year’s budget by June 1 of each year.
At the end of the four budget hearings, County staff will take any changes that have been made to the proposed budget and incorporate them into the final document for submission to the state by June 1.