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      Millions in staff and services slashed in new Midland County budget

      This cat is up for adoption at Midland Animal Control.

      With a four-three vote Tuesday morning Midland County Commissioners approved the 2011 budget.

      The new budget slashes $3 million in spending by increasing fees for services, cutting the jobs of 35 county workers, restructuring the sheriff TMs department, and nearly eliminating animal control.

      In the Sheriff TMs department, many investigators will have to accept demotions so the department can preserve jobs. One employee told commissioners he TMs concerned the cuts hit the detective bureau too hard.

      The detective bureau has taken hits several times in the past few years, said Jeff Kozak. They do a lot of special investigations like crimes against children. As we lose the detective bureau, it falls on road patrol which makes them less effective in all they do.

      He aimed his comments at commissioners prioritizing patrols. After eliminating four lieutenant positions, only one patrol deputy had to be cut.

      At the beginning, we thought we might lose seven to eight road patrols, so to end up with a net loss of one is very good, says Commissioner Mark Bone.

      The county will no longer run its animal control facility on East Ashman starting Jan. 1.

      We TMre hoping and looking at the Humane Society taking over the boarding of animals and their goal will be to adopt most out, says Bone.

      He says the county still needs to work out a deal with the Humane Society. Midland will still employ one animal control officer who will work out of the sheriff TMs department.

      Commissioners also approved funding enough to keep the MSU Extension open for another year.