The Board of Supervisors Tuesday formally recognized, through results of a survey, the need to establish a funding stream reserved specifically to meet needs in Riverside County’s unincorporated communities.

In a 5-0 vote without comment, the board signed off on findings in the survey that provided residents of unincorporated areas with a means to voice their concerns about what improvements they would like to see.

The survey, which was combined with a series of board “listening sessions” involving the public last fall, resulted in almost 2,500 individual responses.

The majority of respondents put an emphasis on enhanced law enforcement, while others advocated more spending on roads, parks, broadband internet service, homeless relief and waste removal.

“The information gathered in this outreach effort will assist the board as it enters budget hearings on the fiscal year 2021-22 budget,” according to an Executive Office statement posted to the board’s agenda.

As a direct result of the survey, one of the items that will be put before supervisors during the hearings, which begin June 15, is the proposed creation of an “Unincorporated Communities Fund,” with an initial allocation of $3 million.

The fund would be reserved exclusively for spending on projects and programs that benefit the roughly 382,000 people who reside in the unincorporated areas, stretching across the 7,300 square miles that comprise Riverside County.

Supervisor Kevin Jeffries has been a strong supporter of channeling more money to improve life in unincorporated areas.

The county already maintains multiple contingency accounts that make up the aggregate reserve pool from which money can be drawn to meet various spending needs. The Unincorporated Communities Fund would be part of that pool.

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