Butler County battling budget, too

By Dan Wells - bio | email

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - Butler County is facing a multi-million dollar budget shortfall after commissioners voted to cut $3.5 million from county departments. That's on top of $1 million that's already been cut.

Butler County joins Hamilton County in dealing with budget cuts, and yet again, it could mean furloughs, service reductions and possible layoffs.

Butler county's budget deficit has ballooned this year as tax revenues and other income continues to slide.

"We're looking at about an $8 million shortfall for the remainder of the year for the Butler County general fund budgets," said Tim Williams, Butler County administrator.

Officials say they are now looking at all kinds of cutbacks, including trimming programs and asking workers to take unpaid days off.

"The budget reductions affect the departments but each elected official or authority will need to decide how that will flow through their operations," said Williams.

In some cases, operations maybe reduced to bare basics.

"We know that this is a very difficult time," said Commissioner Greg Jolivette. "In order to balance the budget by the end of the year, we had to ask office holders to go back to 2007 revenue levels."

County leaders say what's so frustrating about this situation is everyone knew the economy was bad. They planned for it; they just didn't know they would be back at the chopping block yet again.

"We did make reductions earlier this year to the tune of about $4.5 million. It's necessary because the revenues have not responded and continued to decline so to make another adjustment now," said Williams.

About 2,500 people work for Butler County and officials say officials say that everyone will be effected by these budget cuts in some way shape and form. Additional monies needed to balance the budget will come from county reserve funds.

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