Sacramento County Supervisor Don Nottoli on July 26 focused on such issues as homelessness, transportation and water in his third annual State of the County address.
The Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce presented the event at Valley Hi Country Club.
Since 1994, Nottoli has represented District 5, which encompasses more than 650 square miles and includes Elk Grove, Galt, Rancho Cordova and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta communities.
County’s 2019-20 budget
The supervisor said that the county’s approved budget for the current, fiscal year 2019-20 totals $4.4 billion.
Although there were reductions in the county’s General Fund and some programs, including the elimination of 192 full-time positions, Nottoli noted that no layoffs occurred.
He added that an allocation of $21.7 million was made to fund improvements to the county’s jails as part of continuing efforts to address “conditions of confinement concerns,” which were identified in a lawsuit brought against the county by prison rights and disability rights organizations.
Nottoli thanked the 12,300 county employees, who partner with city employees, state and federal agencies and others.
“(They) work daily to serve county residents in a myriad of programs and essential services,” he said.
As he did in his State of the County address last year, Nottoli stated that homelessness and related issues continue to challenge communities throughout the county.
“The recent Sacramento County Point-in-Time count showed a 19% rise in homelessness – nearly 5,600 individuals, of which 3,900 were unsheltered,” he said. “However, the significant investment of millions of (dollars in) public and private funds has resulted in some notable success in recent years.”
The supervisor said that 3,600 people were housed and exited homelessness in 2018.
Nottoli also stated that about 1,300 homeless people are sheltered in Sacramento County every night, and more than 300 new shelter beds were added in the county last year.
The 2019-20 fiscal budget increases homeless services, using state and federal funding totaling $20 million.
Also significant in the fight against homelessness, Nottoli noted, was Gov. Gavin Newsom’s June 27 signing of the $214.8 billion state budget, which includes $4 million for a permanent home for Elk Grove Food Bank Services.
“What an exciting prospect as they continue in their important efforts to serve nearly 6,000 people a month, most of whom are seniors, families and children,” the supervisor said.
“All in all, we are dedicating significant resources to addressing homelessness (in Sacramento County).”
Moving on to the issue of transportation, the supervisor noted that much-needed road repair and bridge replacement projects are in the works.
“Elk Grove-Florin Road, north of Gerber (Road), those of you who take that route frequently or not, it’s a real bottleneck there,” he said. “The widening (of that road) is underway already. That will be widened (from two lanes) to four lanes up to Florin Road.”
Nottoli mentioned other projects, including a street-widening project on South Watt Avenue, between Florin Road and the Jackson Highway.
He referred to this effort as a multi-phase project that will begin in one to two years. The project will double the size of the street from two to four lanes and will include a landscaped median, bike lanes, pedestrian walkways, and a replacement and widening of the bridge over Morrison Creek, near Elder Creek Road.
The supervisor additionally mentioned “aged out” bridges that will be replaced in unincorporated parts of the county.
Nottoli added that there have been a lot of paving projects, such as on Florin Road, between Waterman and Bradshaw roads.
Proposed Delta tunnels
Turning his attention to water, in relation to the Delta, Nottoli commented on Newsom’s announcement regarding the California Water Fix proposal – aka “Delta tunnels” or “twin tunnels.”
“In January, Gov. Newsom announced that California Water Fix, the twin tunnels, was not to be, but in the very next breath expressed the need to pursue a single tunnel alternative,” he said. “This was good news as it relates to the twin tunnels, which many of us believe would devastate the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, including construction impacts, environmental degradation, disruption and lasting impacts to Delta agriculture and recreation, and basically the destruction of a way of life.”
The supervisor subsequently mentioned the Delta Counties Coalition of county governments that represent more than four million residents.
“(This coalition continues) to advocate for more sustainable and less costly alternatives, such as storm water capture, forest management, water purification, desalination, reuse and recycling, conservation, groundwater cleanup and conjunctive use,” he said.
Elk Grove’s parks
As part of his speech, Nottoli congratulated the Cosumnes Community Services District (CSD), the city of Elk Grove and the Kammerer family for their new, 13.6-acre Sterling Meadows neighborhood park: Kammerer Family Park.
Kammerer Family Park is one of seven parks jointly owned and operated in Laguna area by the city and the Cosumnes CSD.
With the July 23 opening of that park, Elk Grove is now home to 98 parks.