A SnowCat is on the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office wish list. | Public domain.


The Humboldt County Citizens’ Advisory Committee had nearly $11 million in requests this year and less than $4.5 million to give out, so they had some serious whittling to do. As in previous years, the commission made a ranked list, dividing the applications into “must-haves,” “need-to-haves” (which, to us, sounds the same as “must haves” but is evidently less imperative) and, lastly, “nice-to-haves.”

Today the county announced the results of that process, and it looks like the committee prioritized first responders and roads. Of the 14 requests that landed on the “must-have” list, all but three are for either law enforcement, fire departments or ambulance services. 

Perhaps the biggest eyebrow-raiser on the list is the BearCat, an armored vehicle requested by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. In its application the Sheriff’s Office said this beast “is recognized as one of the most vital pieces of equipment in times of great danger to law enforcement and the public.” Locals got to see one in action last year during an armed standoff in McKinleyville. The Measure Z Citizens’ Advisory Committee thinks Humboldt should have its own.

CORRECTION: Turns out the BearCat was on last year’s wish list, which the county mistakenly linked to the current press release. Your Outpost correspondent failed to notice. This year’s Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office request included a different vehicle altogether, the SnowCat! It rescues people who are in, you guessed it, the snow! The Outpost regrets the error.

Here’s a press release from the county:

The committee is recommending $4.47 million in expenditures, including $1.2 million to the Humboldt County Fire Chief’s Association for equipment; $1.18 million to the Department of Public Works for roads resurfacing; and $438,292 to the Sheriff’s Office for staff and patrol vehicles, among others.The Citizens’ Advisory Committee on Measure Z expenditures this week finalized its recommendations for projects to be funded in Fiscal Year 2017-18. In total, the committee recommended 12 projects to be funded, in addition to projects that require on-going funding. The final recommendations will be included in the county’s proposed budget, which will be presented to the Board of Supervisors on June 6.

While revenue from tax is estimated at $11.4 million, there is an ongoing cost of $6.63 million due to projects that were funded in the past, like hiring Sheriff Deputies, Deputy District Attorneys and Probation Officers. In addition, roughly $336,000 in one-time funding was rolled over to FY 17-18, adding to the available funding.

In total, agencies submitted 45 applications requesting more than $11.3 million in funding. The committee held five meetings in which it solicited proposals, took public input and evaluated proposals that sought a share of these funds.

The committee sorted these applications in to three categories: “must have,” “need to have,” and “nice to have.” The committee further developed two lists for projects to be funded. The primary list below includes projects the committee recommends be funded first, and is comprised of “must have” projects. The secondary list includes projects that should be considered during the mid-year budget review.

If applicants cannot or do not expend their funds during FY 2017-18, the committee is recommending that projects on the secondary list be considered.

Primary Funding
Organization(In order or priority)Funding ProjectRecommended Allocations(All One-time except those specified
Humboldt County Fire Chief’s AssociationPlanning, dispatch, equipment 1,241,465
K’IMA:W Medical CenterAmbulance Service 312,801
SheriffStaff, patrol vehicles, SnowCat 438,292
City of Eureka Police DepartmentMist 359,140
City of Fortuna Police DepartmentDrug Task Force Officer 149,580
Public WorksRoads 1,178,554
Area 1 Agency on AgingOmbudsman 45,000
City of Rio DellContinued clerical support 34,101
Public WorksARFF training 32,000
City of Arcata Police Department/SheriffStudent Resource Officer and Juvenile Diversion position347,702
City of Blue LakeOne half-time deputy sheriff 75,000
City of Fortuna Police DepartmentSchool Resource Officer 145,580
Southern Trinity Area RescueSouthern Humboldt ambulance service 39,600
City of TrinidadOne half-time deputy sheriff75,000
Total Recommended Primary Funding $ 4,473,815
Secondary Funding
Organization(in order of priority)Funding projectRecommended Allocation(All one-time)
Public Works*Roads 1,821,446
Humboldt County Fire Chief’s Association**Planning, dispatch, equipment 931,214
K’IMA:W Medical Center**Ambulance Service 45,000
Sheriff**Staff, patrol vehicles, snowcat 292,192
City of Eureka Police Department**Mist 100,000
Area 1 Agency on Aging**Ombudsman 29,045
City of Arcata Police Department/Sheriff**Student Resource Officer and Juvenile Diversion position 117,520
City of Fortuna Police Department**School Resource Officer 47,000
Total Recommended Secondary Funding $3,383,417
*First priority to remainder of Public Works Roads application
**Second priority to remaining applications in the primary recommendations that had reductions

To see the full breakdown of proposals and all of the applications, view our Measure Z web page.