Riverside County Seal

11:07 PM PST on Sunday, November 22, 2009

By DUANE W. GANG
The Press-Enterprise

Holding off on new vehicles, buying used furniture and using video conferencing to cut down on mileage will help Riverside County save an estimated $37 million this year.

That’s according to a new report headed before the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Riverside County faces dropping revenues, and officials have warned of possible layoffs as they work to overcome budget shortfalls.

In a first-quarter budget report to supervisors this month, county officials said discretionary revenues are now projected to drop from $629 million to $609 million for the current fiscal year.

Ongoing expenses, meanwhile, sit at $680 million, putting increasing pressure on county officials to reduce spending. Supervisors will hold a budget workshop Tuesday to discuss ways to bridge the gap.

The savings outlined in the new report are part of a program called Safeguard County of Riverside Against Preventable Expenses.

According to the report:

The county had originally planned to purchase 530 vehicles in the current fiscal year at a cost of $12.5 million. Instead, the county will buy 60 for $1.6 million.

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