Friday, June 30, 2000

Butler County unveils '01 budget

Spending would rise 2.7 percent

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — Butler County's proposed $59.4 million general fund budget for 2001 represents a 2.7 percent increase over this year's budget.

        The commissioners said Thursday they are satisfied that the overall budget has remained under the 3 percent ceiling they had set, although some county departments exceeded that level.

        The proposed budget, unveiled Thursday, will be the subject of a series of public hearings before the commissioners give their final ap proval.

        Tim Williams, county finance director, said the county will have a general fund balance of $12.8 million at the end of this year and at the end of next year.

        He said that's a healthy balance that will help the county maintain its strong bond rating.

        Mr. Williams said his only concern is that the county's surplus has dwindled in recent years. It has dropped from $1.3 million in 1997 to $88,000 this year and a predicted $4,471 next year.

        “Things are getting tight,” he said.

        In other business:


  • Entertainer Barbara Mandrell will be the kickoff speaker for Butler County's first Safe Kids Strong Families Conference in September.

            Ms. Mandrell will speak about her family values, parenting, children and relation ships on Sept. 18 at Lakota East High School.

            The conference will offer programs on Sept. 19-20 at Miami University's Hamilton campus.

            ăThe county commissioners proposed nonbinding arbitration in Butler's long-standing legal dispute with Hamilton over water rates. The county buys most of its water from Hamilton and believes the city is overcharging county residents. The city says its rates are fair.

            This week, Visiting Common Pleas Judge George Elliott rejected Hamilton's motion that would have protected the city from having to provide the county with certain utility records.

            ăThe commissioners approved a 75 percent tax abatement for a proposed Kohl's distribution center in Monroe. Butler County is competing with Indianapolis for the facility.


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