Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon applauded the County Council’s action Wednesday approving a modified county budget for 2010.
The Council’s 2010 budget, passed in November 2009, was modified Wednesday to take into account a continuing drop in revenues due to a stalled economy. The new budget calls for all county departments to decrease spending, putting expenditures more in line with projected revenues for 2010.
“The action on this supplemental budget was absolutely necessary as we continue to see a drop in revenues due to this stalled economy,” Reardon said Wednesday. “The budget passed today by the Council is a better accounting of the changes we expected to see in 2010, and it better prepares us for the continued slowdown we expect in 2011.”
Analysts suggest an uptick in the national economy since the beginning of the Great Recession has begun. But it could still be one or more years before a positive impact is realized in the Northwest.
The budget modification passed Wednesday eliminates more than $6.5 million in current year expenditures on an across-the-board basis from all departments. These expenditure reductions address an anticipated revenue shortfall of $3.6 million in 2010, while allowing for a critical contribution of $2.9 million to year-end fund balance in the General Fund.
Between 2004 and 2006, the county’s fund balance grew to more than $30 million. Since that time, due to the recession and continued used of the fund balance, the fund balance has dropped to less than $10 million.
Recently, Reardon proposed and Council passed a federally subsidized bond package to stimulate the local economy. Under the plan, Snohomish County will begin making more than $20 million in American Recovery Reinvestment Act (ARRA) bonds available to local companies to create new jobs.
Snohomish County will use another $13 million in Recovery Zone Bonds to complete public-safety road projects and capital improvements of certain public facilities, including the Snohomish County Fairgrounds.
“Both bond proposals will create temporary and permanent jobs while stimulating growth throughout the county,” Reardon said.