Thurston County Connection Newsletter
Thurston County Connection
Thurston County Connection
December, 2014
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This Month's Articles

Changes at Thurston County Superior Court

(More) Changes at Thurston County Superior Court

County Benefits from “JBLM Day of Service”

It’s official!

Health Systems Doing a Good Job of Tracking Illnesses

Families Welcome New Members

Perfection is Reality for County Waste Water Treatment Plant

Less Leftovers, More Joy

The Klondike Kings and the telegraph to nowhere

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 County Still Working on Financial Issues.

Recession has big impacts on the county budget.

The worldwide economic crisis has significantly impacted all of us. Whether it’s looking for less expensive groceries, cutting back on travel or putting off decisions on major purchases, all of us are affected. And if you’ve been following the news lately, you know the Thurston County budget has been hit especially hard by the downturn in the economy. I would like to express my thanks to the many Thurston County residents who contacted our office to express their concerns and provide comments, input and suggestions for the Board of County Commissioners to consider. We appreciate your participation and continue to encourage your input to ensure we are making well-informed decisions regarding budget cuts to accommodate the revenue declines.

The county budget has always been somewhat tenuous, with its primary funding dependant upon two key revenue sources; property tax and sales tax. Unlike cities, counties do not have other sources of revenue such as Utility Taxes and Business and Occupation taxes. Magnifying this problem is the 1% cap on growth of property tax revenue which doesn’t keep up with inflation along with the precipitous drop in sales tax revenues with the onset of the recession.

What has this meant for county government? Over the past six years County Commissioners have cut back services, enacted a hiring freeze, reduced purchasing and increased efficiencies in all offices and departments. With the global recession hitting hard in 2008, the county was forced to take major additional budget cuts at the end of last year and again this spring. An expenditure reduction of nearly $7,000,000 was made to the 2008 general fund budget of about $80,000,000. This resulted in an impact of nearly 9%, requiring a corresponding reduction in the county’s workforce. The cuts are so deep that no part of county government can be spared the pain of the current circumstances.

What does that mean for you? Some county offices will have different hours of operation than they used to- closing for a portion of the day to allow the reduced number of employees to catch up on work or to take lunch hours simultaneously. Accordingly, if you plan to visit a county office or department to conduct business, we suggest that you confirm office hours by making a telephone call or checking the county website. That way you may skip an unnecessary trip to the courthouse.

Unfortunately, we have no way of knowing how long the recession will last or whether things will get worse before they get better. It is possible that even more cuts to an already “skin and bones” budget will be needed in the near future. Accordingly, we ask that you continue to let us know what your priorities are for limited county spending. We will also be seeking public input as we begin work on the 2010 budget, so look for announcements of budget meetings and hearings.

As always, I would be happy to hear from you and/or answer any questions you may have. Contact information can be found on the Commissioner’s web page .

Thanks again for your patience as we work our way through these difficult times and your continued interest in Thurston County.

Sincerely, Don Krupp, County Manager.

By Don Krupp

County Manager Don Krupp in his courthouse office. County Manager Don Krupp in his courthouse office.