The San Joaquin Council of Governments (SJCOG) charges into the new fiscal year with the largest budget in its history to deliver projects and programs to improve the lives of people throughout San Joaquin County.
SJCOG’s Overall Work Program (OWP) — the management tool laying out expected funding sources and staff resources needed to deliver the agency’s work for the fiscal year — is estimated at nearly $41.7 million, more than $13 million over the current year’s budget. That is nearly a 46 percent increase over the final OWP for the current fiscal year. The SJCOG Board of Directors OK’d the draft 2023-24 OWP earlier this year and it was then released for review and comment by Caltrans, federal highways and transit agencies, SJCOG member jurisdictions, and the public. It was adopted by the board at its March meeting.
“We’re looking at the largest OWP budget in SJCOG’s history at four times the amount it was in 2020,” SJCOG Executive Director Diane Nguyen told board members in comparing the draft to the $10.5 million budget for 2019-20. “This robust budget is something I’m very excited about. We’re operating in regional spaces that will transform the community in the areas of regional housing, sustainability and innovative projects. We’re very much looking forward to Fiscal Year ’23-’24.”
The increase is the latest in a series over the years marking SJCOG’s success in applying for grants for projects and programs to benefit San Joaquin County residents. Past draft budgets have increased from nearly $10.5 million in Fiscal Year 2019-20 to nearly $13.7 million in Fiscal Year 2020-21, nearly $18.4 million in Fiscal Year 2021-22, and nearly $24 million for the current fiscal year. The draft OWP can be amended during the fiscal year and the final OWP for the current fiscal year is at more than $28.6 million.
The most significant increases in revenue come in SJCOG’s work on regional housing and associated infrastructure, and a regional collaboration with local nonprofits and University of the Pacific to tackle resiliency and adaptation to climate impacts in San Joaquin County. The Regional Early Action Program (REAP) 2.0 will infuse $10.6 million for local and regional housing-related projects and programs to ease the housing crisis. About 65 percent of that funding will go directly to cities in San Joaquin County for planning, infrastructure, and housing projects. Another $1 million will be set aside for SJCOG to continue its work on a regional housing trust fund.
Two separate but related grants to SJCOG are providing underserviced communities with clean, affordable transportation to get to essential destinations. SJCOG received a $7.4 million Air Resources Board Sustainable Transportation Equity Project (STEP) grant to form the Stockton Mobility Collective to provide nonprofit carshare and bikeshare, incentives to use public transit, and a workforce development program. That project officially launched April 1 and about $3.7 million of the grant is budgeted in the draft 2023-24 OWP.
SJCOG also received a state Clean Mobility Options (CMO) voucher program grant to work in concert with the Stockton Mobility Collective to expand electric carshare programs in San Joaquin County. About $1.2 million for that program is in the draft OWP.
A $1.75 million Strategic Growth Council grant — which resulted directly from SJCOG investigating climate impacts on transportation in the county — will help SJCOG, local nonprofits and Pacific form a Regional Climate Collaborative to help county residents cope and adapt to climate impacts.
Funding for other SJCOG studies — including finding best practices for delivering bicycle and pedestrian projects and researching alternative fuels — is also included in the draft OWP.
To learn more about the OWP and the related Annual Financial Plan, and to find a link to the draft OWP for 2023-24, visit Overall Work Program/Annual Financial Plan webpage.