Santa Barbara County officials approved a $1.105 billion budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year, with added funding for a project to improve traffic in the north county.
The board is dedicating about $155,000 of the budget to extend Union Valley Parkway near Santa Maria to the Elks Unocal Event Center.
The expansion will give drivers more options beyond Santa Maria Way.
"If we can do something like an in-one-way-and-out-the-other and maybe you know, we can work with the Elks on that and it’ll make it a much safer and better experience for everybody," said Peter Adam, Santa Barbara County District 4 Supervisor. "Plus, it will take or prevent taking so many public safety officers off the road to manage the traffic."
The budgetalso provides $1.5 million to repay the $5.9 million pulled from the Strategic Reserves earlier this year for disaster response like the Montecito mudslides.
"The Board adopted a balanced budget with no layoffs, few service reductions, replenishment of reserves, and increased maintenance funding while continuing a commitment to long standing priorities like the Northern Branch Jail and fire district funding," said County Executive Officer Mona Miyasato. "In this budget, they also were able to allocate more funding to libraries, public safety needs and environmental initiatives."
The budget is increased by 2.5 percent in comparison to last year’s budget.
Only one supervisor, Janet Wolf, voted against the budget.