County Council Wades Through First Night Of Budget Hearings


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.