County Council hosts special budget workshop Monday

The San Juan County Council will hold a special budget workshop July 27, 1 p.m. in the Council Hearing Room of the Legislative Building at 55 Second St., Friday Harbor.

According to the county communications office, the council will discuss the second phase of cuts to the 2009 county current fund budget, and measures necessary to create a 2010 budget that maintains an adequate working cash balance.

The topics of discussion will include whether to ask voters to authorize a property tax increase in the November election and, if so, how large the increase would be, whether it would expire after a limited time, and what services or projects might be linked to the passage or failure of a levy increase.

The phase two budget cut proposals are designed to bring the total reduction in expenditures for the second half of 2009 to $1 million — about 15 percent of the general operating budget for that period.

Auditor Milene Henley has told the council that even with the 2009 reductions in place, the council will likely have to find an additional $721,000 in cost reductions or revenue to balance the 2010 budget.

The budget workshop will not include a public hearing, however, Council Chairman Rich Peterson has indicated that time will be provided for public comment.

A list of the proposed phase two budget cuts is available online.

The auditor’s slides from her July 22 council presentation on the 2010 budget can be viewed online.

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