The County expects that by the end of 2014 it will spend a total of nearly $80 million on flood-related projects. Over the next 5 years, it is anticipated that a total of $217 million will be spent on recovery, with the vast majority being spent on major repairs to public infrastructure.
Officials estimate there will be a $56 million shortfall between the amount spent on flood recovery and the amount received in reimbursement. A portion of this funding gap will be paid with money from the General Fund; however, there is not enough fund balance to cover the total shortfall.
County officials stress flood recovery projects are paid in full up front and reimbursed later, therefore the County must plan for $217 million in expenses over the next 5 years, not just the $56 million gap. On August 12 the County commissioners placed County Ballot Measure IA on the November ballot. It asks voters to approve an additional sales and use tax of .185 percent, which is expected to raise $9.8 million annually through 2019.
In addition, the Commissioners approved County Ballot Measure 1B, which asks the voters to extend the existing human services safety net mill levy (.9 mill) for fifteen years. The revenues are used to fill the deficiencies in state and federal funding for housing and human services programs in the county. Officials say there have been significant increases in requests for food assistance (food stamps), childcare assistance and other programs.