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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, December 18, 2009
Contact:
Cathy Wolfe,  Thurston  County  Commission Chair, 360-786-5440
Commissioner Sandra Romero, 360-786-5440
Don Krupp,  Thurston  County  Manager, 360-786-5440

Thurston Commissioners Adopt 2010 Budget


OLYMPIA – Thurston County Commissioners have adopted a spending plan designed to guide the County through 2010.  The overall budget for next year is set at about $317.6-Million, down about 17% from 2009 levels.  The general fund is approximately $74-Million dollars.  That's down about 2% from 2009 spending levels.

Thurston County Commission Chair Cathy Wolfe says work done on the 2009 budget made putting the 2010 plan together a little bit easier.  "We took some very significant steps regarding the 2009 budget.  Between adoption of the budget at the start of the year and a mid-year adjustment, we cut about $7-Million from the County's General Fund.  That's about 10% of the funding that we have the most control over.  In order to accomplish that level of reduction, we had to eliminate approximately 12% of county workforce positions and initiate a painful cut to Public Health and Social Service programs.  While that process was very difficult, it was necessary to accommodate the drop off in revenue that the county is dealing with."

Commissioner Sandra Romero agrees that working on budget issues in 2009 has been very difficult.  "Considering limitations on revenue caused by initiatives, we have crafted a responsible budget that still provides important programs and services.  For example, we were able to restore funding for special recreation which is vitally important to people with special needs.  It's a responsible budget that contains significant cuts but keeps county government whole and provides the services that taxpayers expect from county government."   

Wolfe says it has taken cooperation from county workers, elected officials and department directors to get this far.  "The Commissioners would like to thank everyone in county government for their help.  Whether it has been taking on additional duties or adapting to changing job conditions, everyone has stepped up to this unprecedented challenge.  And we would like to thank Thurston County residents for their patience as we work through this difficult time."  Among other changes, Commissioners reduced the number of county departments from 16 to 8, improving lines of communication and saving money.

Thurston County residents are encouraged to contact the county with any questions or suggestions.  Those interested can call (360) 786-5440 or fax to (360) 754-4104 or send email to:  tcbocc@co.thurston.wa.us.  Budget materials can be viewed on line at: www.co.thurston.wa.us  Look for the "Budget Information" button on the opening page of the web site.

County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3