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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, November 14, 2003
Contact:
Don Krupp, Chief Administrative Officer, 360-786-5440

Public Invited to Comment on Thurston County Budget


OLYMPIA -- Thurston County Commissioners Monday will receive the preliminary 2004 budget.  The overall preliminary budget is set at $317,989,286, up less than 1 percent from 2003.   The budget for next year provides for a continuation of current service levels.  Chief Administrative officer Don Krupp says a combination of cost cutting over the past year coupled with a better than expected ending fund balance for 2003 has allowed the "status quo" budget for 2004.  "Elected officials and department directors at the county have worked very hard to find efficiencies wherever possible and that has given us a bit of breathing room for next year.  However, the challenge of diminishing revenue growth and increasing demand for services will likely mean more belt tightening in 2005 and beyond." 

The preliminary 2004 budget also calls for a decrease in county personnel of 14 positions.  That cutback comes after the elimination of about 21 full time positions in 2003.  Krupp says such workforce reductions are very difficult.  "It's very important for county residents to let us know their priorities for services from their county government.  That way we will have a better idea where any future service and personnel reductions should take place."

The 2004 preliminary budget will be unveiled at the Thurston County Commission meeting at about 10:00 AM, Monday the 17th at the Thurston County Courthouse in Olympia. Commissioners will deliberate the draft budget from December 2nd through the 5th.  Adoption of the budget is set for December 15thA public hearing on the budget will be held at 6:30 the evening of December 1, 2003 in room 280 of Building One at the Thurston County Courthouse, 2000 Lakeridge Dr. SW in Olympia.

More information on the 2004 budget can be found on the county's web site at www.co.thurston.wa.us/budget.

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County Commissioners:

Carolina Mejia
District 1

Gary Edwards
District 2

Tye Menser
District 3