Madison Youth Bureau Sees Impact of Downturn

The state cut local aid by 2 percent across the board in its recent budget. Joanne Eddy, director of the Madison County Youth Bureau, said the reduction affects two programs in her office, but she says she's one of the lucky ones.

"It amounts to about $4,500," Eddy said.

Eddy asked members of the Social and Mental Health Committee to allow her to transfer funds from another budget line, rather than going to the trouble of recirculating resolutions through the committee system for the 12 contracts affected.

"It means the county will have to put $4,422 local dollars more into my budget than I already have," Eddy said.

And that is in the 2008 budget, Eddy said.

"It affects us this year," Eddy said. "They already gave us the funds, now they're taking them back."

According to Eddy, she doesn't know the exact impact, as the programs have to spend the money, then be reimbursed.

"So until I have an expenditure, I won't really know," Eddy said. "The figure in the budget is a guestimate based on the expenditures we expected to make."

Supervisor John Salka (R,C,I -- Brookfield) asked if Eddy thinks the situation is indicative of cuts in the future.

"Oh, yeah," Eddy said. "Agencies really thought it wouldn't affect us this year. We thought it started for 2009, but they came back and said, 'No, it didn't.' We've heard the impact on the budget next year will be more than 2 percent, but they haven't given us figures yet."

"Will cut-backs on programs be required, then?"Salka asked.

"Some programs I know can take a cut, but others are really on the edge," Eddy said. "It's a balancing act that will just go so far before the house of cards topples over. We'll have to look at it on a program-by-program basis."

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