Projected budget shortfall could mean more cuts

By Cory Stark – bio |email |twitter | Facebook

HAMILTON, OH (FOX19) - Last year, several Butler County departments endured major cuts, and this year could be the same story.

Butler County officials anticipate a $6.8 million shortfall.

"We're projecting revenue for 2011 at right around $78.2 million in the county's general fund. And the request that we have received from departments and elected officials are right around $85 million," said Butler County Administrator Bruce Jewett.

Jewett says cuts are inevitable but it's too early to identify how much and from which departments. However, Jewett does foresee cuts to the county's criminal justice system.

"It's difficult to imagine a scenario if cuts are made that won't have some impact at least on the criminal justice system," said Jewett.

The criminal justice system includes the courts, prosecutor's office and the sheriff department, just to name a few.

"This is news to us. We'll do what we can with the money they determine that we have. The county is already in tough shape, some nights I have three deputies on the road," said Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones.

Sheriff Jones said his department had to cut 92 people last year to meet budget demands.

While no definite decision has been made to cut from the sheriffs department, Jones believes if cuts are made,"It has to be personnel, there is no more pencils or paper clips we can cut. It's that way all across the country."

"We still have some painful cuts ahead of us," said Jewett.

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