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County: 12 percent budget cut in 2001

County leaders will face a tight budget in the new year after revenue fell and expenses increased more than expected in 2000.

Friday, December 29, 2000

County leaders will face a tight budget in the new year after revenue fell and expenses increased more than expected in 2000.

Sales tax decreases, health insurance increases and and income falloff due to area job losses means a 2001 budget cut of about 12 percent overall, county auditor Ray Dutey said.

"Everything added up to not as much revenue," Dutey said. "We kept the same budget, then we cut it."

Commissioner Bruce Trent agreed at Thursday’s meeting, complimenting those who wrote a budget "most suitable to all people."

Every office will face tightened funds but it’s important to realize that the county must plan ahead to prevent shortfalls next year from shutting down the courthouse, Trent said.

"We must deal with the challenge effectively to provide services for the county," he said. "I would certainly hope that the offices could adjust their budgets without having personnel cuts."

Thursday, the commission adopted the appropriation resolution for fiscal year 2001 by a vote of 2-1. Commissioner George Patterson voted no.

The commission has problems in its own line items, Patterson said after the meeting.

"If they had not hired all these extra $40,000-a-year men, we wouldn’t have had to cut as much," he said.

Commissioners Paul Herrell and Trent said employees, like one hired to handle union negotiations, saves money because the county does not have to contract out such services at higher costs.