Santa Clara County releases
2005 annual report
By Anna Molin, Bay City News Service
March 3, 2006
SAN JOSE (BCN) -In 2005, Santa Clara County invested $8
million in affordable housing, completed several Measure B transportation
projects and saw signs of a moderate economic recovery following
three years of consecutive downturns.
That's according to the county's 2005 annual report released
The $8 million invested in affordable housing created 425 new
units for low-income residents, bringing the total to 1,000 new
units in the last couple of years.
Commuters traveling between state Highway 85 and U.S. Highway
101 and state highways 237 and 880 finally saw long-awaited interchanges
aimed at easing traffic as some of Measure B's projects were completed.
Unemployment dropped slightly, but remained higher than the state
average, according to the report.
The county also collected 8.3 percent more in property taxes
in 2005 than in 2004.
The jump followed an increase in new construction and changes
of homeownership, which bumped up the assessed value of property
within the county by $17.76 billion in the last year. The total
value of property recorded in the county in 2005 was $240.14 billion,
according to the report.
Facing another year of state budgets cuts in local support, the
county set aside $76.6 million in reserves, $72.2 million of which
are contingency funds with another $4.4 million for economic uncertainty
Perhaps the biggest blow for the county last year was the abrupt
closure of the San Jose Medical Center, which in early 2005 shut
its doors for good. The closure came two years earlier than originally
anticipated and shifted the responsibility of its emergency patients
to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center and Stanford Hospital.
As a result, Santa Clara Valley Medical Center had to accommodate
nearly twice as many trauma patients and 10,000 more visits to
the emergency room than in previous years, according to the report.
The report also noted that Santa Clara County maintained its
position as the largest county in the Bay Area, with a population
of 1,759,585 and a budget of $3.6 billion.
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