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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, March 27, 2009
Contact:
Cathy Wolfe, Thurston County  Commission Chair, 360-786-5440
 Don Krupp, Thurston County Manager, 360-786-5440

Thurston County Undertakes a Second Round of Budget Reductions


​OLYMPIA – In order to balance the 2009 budget, Thurston County Commissioners are announcing another round of layoffs and budget reductions.  The latest adjustment would be about $5.4 million cut from the county's current general fund. This represents a 7.1% reduction from the county's $76 million general fund budget. These cuts are on top of a $4 million reduction made at the beginning of the year.

Thurston County Manager Don Krupp says the cuts are due to the global economic crisis and a fundamental problem with county revenue sources.  "All counties in the state are suffering because of the recession.  Locally, sales tax revenue is down 22% from 2007.  In addition, initiatives have limited property tax growth to 1% a year, which is not enough to keep up with inflation.  Together, these two challenges have had a devastating impact on county revenues." 

More than 70 Full Time Equivalency (FTE) positions were eliminated at the end of 2008 in order to balance the preliminary 2009 budget.  Another 60 or so positions will now be eliminated, totaling 10% of the county workforce.

Thurston County Commission Chair Cathy Wolfe says the public will definitely see the impacts from the cuts. "We are at the point where we can no longer maintain current levels of the services and programs of county government.   The Permit Assistance Center , for example, will now be open for walk-in business from 8 am to noon only.  Other offices may be closed during the lunch hour or at other times.  Some county parks will be closed.  Certain processes of county government, that took a day or two in the past, may take longer now.  We are asking the citizens of Thurston County to have some patience with us as we adjust to a new budget reality."

Krupp says the budget reductions will be felt all across county government including law and justice offices.  "Since nearly three-quarters of the general fund revenue goes to support law and justice functions, some reductions have to be made in that funding in order to cover reductions of the magnitude that are needed to balance the county budget."

Thurston County Commissioners are scheduled to hold a public hearing on the budget reduction proposals at 5:30 the evening of Monday, April 13th in Room 152 of Building One of the Thurston County Courthouse. 

County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3