Union County commissioners have adopted a temporary 2010 budget that includes several cuts reflecting lower revenues.

Union County commissioners have adopted a temporary 2010 budget that includes several cuts reflecting lower revenues.

The temporary budget, adopted Dec. 28, totals $19.1-million -- $2-million less than county departments had requested and $700,000 less than what was spent in 2009.

"Cutbacks are required because, this year, Union County's general revenue spending exceeded revenues by about $1.5-million," board of commissioners chairman Tom McCarthy said.

Commissioner Charles Hall said the county likely would spend more than it earns next year.

"Based on certified revenue estimates that the commissioners are required to follow, even with the spending cutbacks, Union County will likely spend more in 2010 than we receive, and we should end 2010 with about $2-million in reserves," Hall said.

Although the county is required by law to have at least a temporary budget in place before the beginning of the fiscal year, a final 2010 budget is expected to be approved in March. Commissioner Gary Lee said the temporary budget calls for numerous cuts.

"The budget freezes open positions, calls for numerous cuts, including reductions in general-fund salary appropriations, as well as cuts of 20 percent from line items for Union County Fair, Richwood Fair, Historical Society and Union County Joint Recreation Park District," Lee said. "While for many employees these cuts will be painful, these reductions are significantly less than what many in our community have already realized in their salaries and much less than what most city, county and state employees in our state have also been required to give up."

According to the Union County auditor's office, 2009 sales-tax revenues are down 17 percent, conveyance and transfer fees are down 18 percent, local government funds from the state are down 12 percent and interest income on county investments are down 40 percent.

"We are confident that the county's can-do spirit and strong work ethic will see us through a difficult economic time," McCarthy said. "This temporary general-fund budget should allow officeholders to keep services the public depends upon at current levels and fund current salaries with less than a 4-percent reduction. As a result, no county employee should have to lose their job."