Cliffs Cuts Take a Bite Out of County Budget

Cliffs Natural Resources’ production cuts at its Marquette County mines are having some unexpected consequences.

They’re resulting in the county board having to make up a nearly $700,000 budgetary hole.

When they approved the budget last fall, the board thought they’d have that money to work with.

But when Cliffs cut back production, that also meant a cutback on the tax money coming into the county’s coffers.

The good news is, the county should be able to make up that difference without too much trouble.

There are about $330,000 unspent dollars from 2007 and 2008 that they can use.

Most of the remainder will come from money they were expecting to spend by now on the new county jail at Mangum Farm.

County Commissioner Bob Struck says this won’t affect any county services, and that while he’d certainly rather see the county have that $700,000, he says the county will be OK.

The county is making up the rest by cutting spending on 2 other funds that have enough of a balance to absorb the hit.