Supervisors appropriate $15 million for ventilator purchases

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The Riverside County Board of Supervisors approved the purchase of ventilators to help combat the coronavirus epidemic.

The supervisors’ 5-0 vote Tuesday, April 21, authorized the capital equipment purchase of up to $15 million for ventilators and directed the county’s auditor and controller to make the appropriate budget adjustments.

On April 7, the board of supervisors added $25 million to the county’s contingency fund to address costs associated with the coronavirus outbreak. The contingency fund is used for urgent and unforeseeable events including revenue shortfalls, unanticipated expenditures, uncorrectable budget overruns and what the supervisors deem to be mission critical issues. The county had $9.2 million in the contingency fund before the supervisors transferred the $25 million from the unassigned budget of the county’s general fund.

The county’s emergency management department had requested $15 million to purchase the ventilators.

Joe Naiman can be reached by email at jnaiman@reedermedia.com.