CLEARLAKE, Calif. – Programs in the city of Clearlake will benefit from allocations made by the Lake County Board of Supervisors in its current fiscal year budget.
In addition to funds allocated annually for ongoing standard services in the area, the Board of Supervisors budgeted requests by District 2 Supervisor Jeff Smith supporting senior, youth and animal programs serving the Clearlake area.
Smith said annual allocations in District 2, which includes parts of Clearlake, total about $30 million to provide standard services such as law enforcement, Section 8 housing assistance, In-Home Support Services (IHSS) and other social service programs.
Along with $6,000 carried-over from the last budget, the Board of Supervisors has earmarked for the Highlands Senior Service Center another $5,000 to address its need of a new stove and other kitchen equipment.
Smith said close to $30,000 is allocated annually among senior centers in the county with the Highlands Senior Service Center receiving the highest allocation.
“Highlands gets the more than anybody else – about $18,000 – because they serve the most seniors,” Smith said, recognizing the center's Meals On Wheels program, which served more than 28,000 meals last year in addition to the nearly 9,000 served in the dining room.
“Over the years, the allocation to Highlands Senior Service Center has gone from $4,000 to $18,000. (Former District 1 Supervisor) Ed Robey and I worked together to base funds on the amount of meals served. The allocation has increased but we still need a little more,” Smith said.
Monetary support by the Board of Supervisors for the HSSC Highlands Senior Service Center senior/community garden project, Smith said, has paid off.
In 2010, the Board of Supervisors kick-started the project with a $40,000 allocation.
“The amount of produce they harvested this year amounts to $24,046.49 in produce,” Smith said.
According to Highlands Senior Service Center Executive Director Linda Burton, 8,472 pounds of produce was harvested from the senior garden, supplementing the center's nutrition programs.
The Board of Supervisors earmarked $10,000 in the budget for Lake County Youth Services to assist with roofing expenses at the center.
“That's a city-owned building, but the way the lease reads, its the youth center's responsibility to maintain it, and they don't have the money to do that,” Smith said, adding a donation challenge to St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake.
“We put a temporary coating on the roof last year but we needed a permanent fix and we requested $10,000 from the Board of Supervisors. Jeff was able to pick up another $2,000 from another donation,” Lake County Youth Services President Mike Vandiver said. “Now we have enough to cover the materials to get the roof done permanently.”
Smith said a $5,000 allocation for the Animal Coalition of Lake County will provide assistance beyond the Clearlake community as it serves all senior and low-income residents of the area.
He said the need to support the organization's spay and neuter program is obvious in that pet overpopulation is an apparent problem throughout the county. “Everyone knows there is a need there,” Smith said.
The Animal Coalition of Lake County pays about $2,000 monthly for veterinary services, honoring vouchers that assist with spay/neuter expenses.
“I wouldn't be surprised if that equals about 100 vouchers every month,” said Elaine Somit, Animal Coalition of Lake County treasurer.
Contributions from the community and fundraising profits allow the Animal Coalition of Lake County to continue in its mission to reduce pet overpopulation in the county.
Somit said that with the contribution from the Board of Supervisors, in addition to a few other substantial donations made to the organization recently, and the Halloween fundraiser on Oct. 31, the coalition is in a good position to serve the needs of the community.
“There has always been a huge need here to address pet overpopulation in the county and it never lets up,” Somit said. “Spay and neuter. It really is the only solution.”
The Animal Coalition of Lake County hosts two fundraising dinner and dance events every year, each bringing in about $10,000, Somit said.
The Halloween event takes place beginning with no-host cocktails at 5 p.m. Oct. 31 at the Moose Lodge, 15900 East Highway 20 in Clearlake Oaks.
Dinner will be served at 6 p.m. and dancing to the tunes of “Twice as Good” starts at 7 p.m.
The event includes a costume contest, raffle and silent auction.
Tickets in advance cost $20 apiece, available at From Me 2 U, The Spot and Marie's Lakeshore Feed & Grain, all on Lakeshore Drive in Clearlake; and at Clearlake Veterinary Clinic on Emerson Street in Clearlake. For more information call 707-995-0552.
Smith said $10,000 is earmarked for the Clear Lake Chamber of Commerce and the city to use to identify properties for economic development. The money is to used to develop a user-friendly inventory of properties and marketing plan.
In addition to program allocations, Smith said the Board of Supervisors approved $100,000 for road maintenance on Davis Street in relation to its obligations concerning the county landfill located at the east end of the road.
Also, Smith said the board has donated property in the area of Phillips Avenue and Dam Road Extension for a veterans' housing project with Veterans Affairs.
The project will include road work that will increase connectivity and accessibility in area, he said.
“It's going to enhance the property values and enhance the veterans' housing project, too. It's really all for the best,” Smith said. “In a way, it's a safety project, relieving traffic on Highway 53. It's a project we looked at through the Area Planning Commission but never had the funds to do.”
Smith said there are many needs in the Second District and that he is fortunate to have the support of the board in getting the majority his requests approved.
“It takes teamwork. I have proven my ability to communicate effectively the needs of our community and that's because of great communication with area agencies, city and county staff, council members and my fellow supervisors, he said.
Email Denise Rockenstein at [email protected] .