Wake County discusses more budget cuts

December 1, 2008 4:12:03 PM PST
Wake County leaders are talking about budgets cuts of up to 10 percent.Leaders were originally thinking about cuts of 4 percent, but there are now talks of 10 percent.

They expect the financial situation to get worse before it gets better and are preparing to drastically tighten the budget belt.

The 10 percent cut to most county departments would affect from anything from libraries to parks --the sheriff's department to EMS. The budget cut talks stem from Wake County facing a $17 million deficit, which could get worse. Public schools had not been asked to consider cuts, until Monday. The newest commissioner suggested the schools put some construction projects on hold.

"Classroom education is the top priority," Wake County Commissioner Stan Norwalk said. "That should be the last thing we want to cut, compared to school construction."

Wake County schools already have to cut $5 million from its state money, but that's only 1 percent of its budget.

No firm decisions have been made, but many commissioners said other government services could face dramatic cuts.

Monday was the first step of the county preparing the schools to share what could be major budget cuts to come.

Final decisions may not come until January.

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