The North County Times gave an update this weekend on the county supervisors’ $10 million grant program.

When we wrote about the program’s status a month ago, the county didn’t yet have plans to lay off workers. Now it does.

The grant program will continue, despite those pending layoffs, the Times says.

The supervisors give out $10 million annually to local community groups. They say the funding comes from a budget surplus. But the county is facing a $90 million budget shortfall, as it wrestles with the same financial slowdown affecting governments throughout the region. Some supervisors say they may consider the program’s future during the next budget cycle — but not now.

Reporter Edward Sifuentes writes:

[T]hey said they will not put any of the remaining money — $5.5 million — back into the general fund this fiscal year.

A little more than half of the money remaining in the supervisors’ accounts could save the 27 jobs the supervisors will consider axing on Tuesday as they tackle a projected $90 million budget shortfall. The jobs belong to county health workers and building inspectors.

But it is unlikely the supervisors will redistribute the money from their discretionary accounts to the general fund to offset the layoffs. The board typically has refused to use money that could disappear next year, such as the community projects fund, to cover ongoing expenses such as salaries.


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