July 24, 2016

Intermittent clouds

County to tighten belt more

MEDINA — The county’s 2010 budget is about $1.5 million less than last year, which means officials will need to make adjustments, including layoffs.

County commissioners passed a $34.8 million budget Monday that’s 4.1 percent smaller than last year’s and
13 percent smaller than in 2008.

“This has been a horrible budget to work with because money is tight,” Commissioner Sharon Ray said.

She said most of the cuts came from various departments’ salary budgets. She said commissioners have made suggestions how department heads can implement the cuts, but ultimately it’s up to the various officials to see them through. She said officials can meet financial goals through attrition, layoffs, reducing hours or asking unions to make concessions.

“I think most people understand the position we are in. Last year was the hardest because that was the first year we had to institute the most cuts,” Ray said.

Last year, the county’s $36.3 million budget was about $4 million less than in 2008 due to declining revenue. By midsummer, commissioners said revenues still were about $1 million shy of making it through the end of 2009, which meant deeper cuts.

Areas affected by budget cuts last year included the Sheriff’s office. Sheriff Neil Hassinger closed units at the jail, and laid off corrections officers and part-time deputies at the county courthouse.

This year, the county projects about $34.5 million in revenue, which is about 1 percent less than last year, and almost
7 percent less than in 2008. It also projects the general fund will have $3.3 million at year-end. That’s about $270,000 less than last year’s year-end balance.

“It’s always a challenge” working within the budget, county Recorder Colleen Swedyk said. Her office will lose one position through attrition. “But I understand with the current economy the commissioners have a difficult task.”

Contact Maria Kacik at (330) 721-4049 or mkacik@ohio.net.