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Jackson County Budget $7 Million Short

By Maria Carter

Kansas City, MO – Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders says the county is facing a $7.3 million budget shortfall in 2008, and but there's another concern what to do when county funds run dry sometime next month. KCUR's Maria Carter reports.

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County Executive Mike Sanders filled the legislature in yesterday on what he calls a challenging budget. The county faces two problems--one, a budget shortfall in 2008 and a second related problem, running out of money sometime next month. The 2007 budget is balanced, but the county's money tends to come in big chunks with more than a third not coming until the end of the eyar. Sanders says when the money's out the county has two choices.

Mike Sanders: You literally would close down or cut service dramatically. The other option is you borrow revenues to meet that budget shortfall.

Sanders says no one wants to shut down the county government, so Jackson County will need to turn to lenders. Sanders blames the previous administration for the current situation, noting some 280-thousand dollars was left in reserves. Budget cuts, including eliminating some 100 jobs, would help the county build up those reserve funds, but the county executive's office says it will take 5 years to put Jackson County in the black.

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