Hamilton Co. battling job cuts

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Jobs are on the line in Hamilton County as commissioners need to balance a budget that's tens of millions of dollars in the red.

Hamilton County auditor Patrick Thompson released his budget recommendations to the Board of Commissioners on Monday.

The recommended 2009 balanced budget is $1.2 billion with $241 million in the general fund. This is an overall decrease of $31 million from the 2008 budget.

The reason for the lack of money is being blamed on a dip in sales tax collections, a bad real estate market and other tax declines.

The budget calls for a cut of 532 positions and a cut in programs and services. Hamilton County employs 5,900 people.

"These are challenging economic times and the County is experiencing the same revenue reduction that many other governments, private businesses and organizations are," said Thompson. "As a result, there are no easy decision in this budget. Every department will experience a significant budget decrease."

Recommended actions include:

  • Continue transitioning low level non-violent offenders out of the Queensgate corrections facility into existing diversion programs and eventually vacating the facility
  • Discontinue the practice of providing non-contractual Sheriff's Patrols within Colerain, Anderson and Green Townships.
  • Consolidation of administrative support functions across five Hamilton County Courts
  • Increase the 911 Communications Center dispatch rate to user departments
  • Consolidating departments involved in building and development functions
  • Reduction in state funding for social services that will total over $40 million by 2010
  • Continued focus on economic development efforts

The commissioners say they'll hold public hearings on the budgets during the first two weeks of December.

The county administrators's recommended budget is available by clicking here.