A graphic banner with First District Supervisor Col. Paul Cook (Ret), Second District Supervisor Jesse Armendarez, Third District Supervisor Dawn Rowe, Fourth District Supervisor Curt Hagman and Fifth District Supervisor Joe Baca, Jr.

For the third consecutive year, San Bernardino County leads all U.S. counties in awards for innovation, efficiency and public service, winning 200 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties.

County Chief Executive Officer Luther Snoke presented the news to the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, praising County departments and employees for their tireless dedication to excellence.

“Thank you to the amazing efforts from our hardworking county staff and departments,” Snoke said.

This month, NACo awarded 1,420 Achievement Awards for 2024. There are more than 3,000 counties in the U.S., making San Bernardino County’s 200 accolades particularly significant.

The 200 NACo awards won by San Bernardino County this year top the 160 awards claimed in 2023 and the 82 earned by the county in 2022. San Bernardino County has won 881 NACo awards since 2010, in addition to many state and specialty awards for excellence in public service.

The county will share additional details about the awards in next week’s County Update.

Board adopts balanced budget, addressing key community concerns

The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a balanced county budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1, making key investments in projects and programs that will provide direct benefits to residents throughout San Bernardino County.

The 2024-25 county spending plan pursues an approach characterized by prudent budgeting, reduced volatility, and stable community investment.

“Our hope is that as we see fluctuations in state and federal budgets and their spending, and the revenues we receive from any source, that we as a county can keep the greatest amount of stability here in our local jurisdiction and how we provide services to our communities,” said county Chief Executive Officer Luther Snoke.

Snoke and Chief Financial Officer Matthew Erickson credited the board’s longstanding practice of underestimating future revenues and overestimating risks for making it possible to maintain and expand services and programs and save money for future initiatives and unexpected needs despite state budget cuts and a struggling economy.

The budget includes $376.3 million in support to the county’s efforts to serve the homeless, public safety and economic development initiatives, disaster preparedness, infrastructure, community projects, and the county’s emergency funds.

“I am excited about this year’s county budget, which will allow us to make key investments in infrastructure, economic development, keeping our neighborhoods safe, improving our parks, and significantly enhancing mental health services,” said Second District Supervisor Jesse Armendarez. “Addressing mental health is a top priority, and these investments will make a real difference in our community. I look forward to seeing more of these plans come to life in the Second District.”

The vast majority of the county’s $9.8 billion 2024-25 budget is consumed by programs mandated and funded by the state.

The board’s conservative approach to budgeting will allow the county to invest in several key priorities even during what is expected to be a relatively lean 2024-25 fiscal year:

  • $1.8 million to support the county’s efforts to address homelessness, in addition to state and federal funding received by the county.
  • $32.8 million for infrastructure, including moving many residents and businesses from septic to sewer.
  • Nearly $3 million for economic development.
  • $20 million for parks and community service improvements.
  • Nearly $41 million to assist the Sheriff in addressing community public safety concerns.
  • $1.7 million for human services, including support for foster youth.

“With this year’s budget, the County is investing in important infrastructure projects to revitalize our community. This includes significant funding for fire stations, ensuring our first responders have the facilities they need to serve effectively,” said Fifth District Supervisor Joe Baca, Jr. “We are also funding projects, such as the expansion of the Baker Family Learning Center in Muscoy, upgrades to Kessler Park in Bloomington, various transportation improvements throughout the County of San Bernardino, and increased funding for housing initiatives. These investments will help build a stronger, safer, and more inclusive community for all residents.”

Supervisors support affordable housing project in San Bernardino

The Board of Supervisors provided $5 million in support toward the development and construction of an affordable multifamily low-income housing project, including supportive services, to be built in San Bernardino.

The U.S. VETS – E Street Affordable Housing Development Project will be a 30-unit apartment community comprised of three-story walk-up buildings with a total of 21 one -bedroom units, five two-bedroom units, three three-bedroom units, and one four-bedroom unit serving households with incomes ranging from 30 to 60 percent of the area median income.

The project will be developed on approximately three quarters of an acre located at 1351 North E Street in San Bernardino.

The county’s support comes from the county Homeless Initiatives Spending Plan, which the board created in March 2023 to advance the goals and objectives of the 2022 Homeless Strategic Action Plan.

The county’s Community Development and Housing Department (CDH) will assist with facilitating the project, including completing various due diligence activities such as financing the plan review and approval, review of physical site assessments, labor compliance review, and title review.

 The total cost to complete the proposed project is $21.1 million. The grantee has received a $4.4 million award through the California Department of Housing and Community Development Veterans Housing and Homeless Prevention Program, a donation of $500,000 from the Home Depot Foundation, and land donated by the Jewish National Fund, valued at $363,000.

Board endorses Supervisor Hagman proposal to fund Chino Hills park

The Board approved an initiative by Fourth District Supervisor Curt Hagman to partner with Chino Hills to make significant improvements to Pinehurst Park.

Hagman allocated $8.5 million from his district’s priorities program budget to fund a public splash pad/restroom amenity; a 6,000-8,000-square-foot center which will include a lobby, restrooms, staff areas to provide registration services to the public and program oversight; meeting rooms; a group gathering area and multi-purpose room for larger group gatherings; and additional amenities, including group picnic areas, shade structures, and parking expansion. The center will also serve as a cooling center during high-heat events.

The city will make a matching contribution of at least $2.1 million towards the cost of the project.

Priorities program projects help promote the vision of a complete county by recognizing the unique traits of each supervisorial district, allowing board districts to work with community partners through county services and contractual agreements to identify programs, projects, and initiatives that support the vision, meet a public purpose and provide services to residents that promote health, safety, economic wellbeing, education, recreation, and other public services that enhance quality of life, and meet the needs of county residents.

Board accepts donation from Museum Foundation

The Board of Supervisors formally accepted a $50,000 donation from the San Bernardino County Museum Foundation to be used for museum exhibits and programming, collections care, staff professional development, and education supplies.

The Museum Foundation is the 501(c)(3) support organization for the San Bernardino County Museum, providing funding to the museum from fundraising activities. Examples of funded projects for the 2023-24 Fiscal Year include the On the Move car exhibit and Hispanic Heritage Month and Ramon Contreras art exhibits.

Additional County Update News – June 13, 2024