Barney: Board of supervisors adopt preliminary county budget

Denny Barney represents District 1 on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. (Courtesy of Maricopa County)

Editor’s note: Supervisor Denny Barney made the following statements May 22 in his Maricopa County Update electronic newsletter.

Today my colleagues and I unanimously approved the county’s tentative fiscal year 2018 budget. The $2.49 billion budget makes significant investments in future growth while adhering to the county’s commitment to lean, customer-service oriented government.

As chairman, my office worked for months with other elected officials and department managers to craft a budget that is both responsible and sustainable.

Balancing a budget without raising the tax rate is increasingly difficult. Significant budget items include:

  • $82.29 million for design and construction of a new jail intake facility to replace Durango jail.
  • $31.97 million for a public safety radio system for increasing public safety.
  • $37 million to convert the empty Madison street jail into working space for the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office.
  • $22.1 million in mandated cost shifts and direct contributions to the state of Arizona.
  • $26 million in court-ordered costs related to the Melendres racial-profiling case.

Looking ahead, we are optimistic about Maricopa County’s long-term strategy for growth and financial stability. A public hearing and final budget adoption will be June 19.

Maricopa County is the fastest-growing county in the nation, according to updated statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Maricopa County added more than 81,000 people in 2016, moving it ahead of the previous pace-setter Harris County, Texas, home to Houston. That is the equivalent of 222 new county residents per day.

Maricopa County is home to more than 4.2 million people. It is the fourth most populous county in the U.S., behind Los Angeles County, California; Cook County, Illinois (Chicago); and Harris County, Texas.

We’ve got a lot of great economic drivers: manufacturing, bioscience, health care and aerospace. People are coming here for jobs and that’s good for the economy.

Denny Barney, Chairman

Maricopa County Board of Supervisors

District 1

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