After their last meeting with a department head on Tuesday, Commissioners Dan Cothren, Blair Brady and Mike Backman said they would take a break and then reconvene to start whittling down the requests.
"We're $530,000 out of whack," Brady said. "Short."
Sheriff Mark Howie, one of the last to talk with the board, had two big requests for the board.
First, the state funds that finance the position of the Emergency Services Coordinator have been eliminated. The program was budgeted at $53,400 for 2013.
Howie asked that the position be maintained. The county needs the position, Howie said, and the director, Beau Renfro, is in the midst of a major planning upgrade.
Without the state funding, the job could disappear, Brady said. "When the grant goes away, the job goes away," he said.
Second, Howie said it's vitally important that the county make a contribution to the Cowlitz/Wahkiakum Drug Taskforce. The county hasn't made a contribution for several years because of tight funding.
Other counties and cities have made up the difference, Howie said, but they are also feeling tight budgets.
"We are very close to dissolving the taskforce without Wahkiakum County's contribution," Howie said.
The taskforce has requested a $30,000 contribution from Wahkiakum; the county has $9,957 available, leaving a need for another $21,043.
Commissioner Cothren said he understood the situation in other counties and cities.
"They're scrapping for every nickel they can get," he said.
Howie said the dissolution of the taskforce, which targets mid- and high-level drug traffickers, would have adverse consequences for Wahkiakum.
"I guarantee you that the drug traffic will come this way," he said. "The distributors will settle in where they're not targeted."
Howie also said he hoped to fill two vacant deputy positions.
"We'll do the best we can do with what we have," Brady said.