Ellis County faces $3.7 million budget shortfall

When it comes to the 2017 budget, Ellis County commissioners agree one thing is clear: They must find a way to reduce spending.

The county is facing a shortfall of approximately $3.7 million in order to maintain spending at the 2016 levels, County Administrator Phillip Smith-Hanes said at Monday’s meeting. The shortfall is partly due to decreased oil and agriculture valuation.

“There will need to be tough choices made,” he said.

Besides cutting staff positions and county services, potential solutions could include new regional partnerships and restructuring of current administrative duties, Smith-Hanes said.

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