Summit County is moving towards not dipping into reserve funds to balance the county budget.
County finance and budget director Brian Nelsen says that in the heart of the recession, Summit County went into a five-year budget plan that balanced using some of the county's reserves with significant yearly budget cuts.
"That essentially allowed the county to spend reserve balances," Nelsen tells AkronNewsNow, "but also cut annual expenditures to a point where by the end of this fiscal year, it has always been the plan that we would end the reliance on using reserve balances, and still maintain a healthy reserve balance."
Nelsen says 2013 should be the last year Summit County will need to dip into the reserves, for just over $1 million.
He says the reserve fund will have $25 million left when the county starts producing balanced budgets without needing to use money from the reserves, which Nelsen expects will happen in 2014.
Nelsen says the plan is still possible despite lower than expected revenues, because of the cuts.
"Our revenues in 2012 had dropped from $113 million in 2007 all the way down to $97 million last year," Nelsen explains, "and that's after the economy and sales tax grew for three consecutive years."
Nelsen does point out that there are a number of unmet needs in the county budget, particularly on the capital budget side.
He says many projects are in need of upgrades, including the 800 MHz public safety radio system and the 9-1-1 dispatch system.