If the county's Department of Motor Vehicles office were to cut 5 percent of its expenses, it would seriously jeopardize current, profitable revenue streams, County Clerk Don Read told the Ways and Means Committee on Wednesday.
In 2009, the county's DMV took in $70,000 in profits, and that number could top $150,000 in 2010.
As part of the county's budget process, department heads are being asked to suggest ways to shave 5 percent of their expenses.
Read said to make that significant of a cut he would need to lay off a staff member, which would mean less staff time to process DMV paperwork for out-of-county auto dealers.
Apparently, Read's office has been able to build a business around servicing the DMV needs of Monroe County dealers because of quicker turn-around times.
Eliminating staff members would take that process from three or five days to 10 days or more, erasing the edge Genesee County's DMV office has over Monroe County.
"We've gone from a deficit in that office of $41,000 to this year showing a significant profit," Read said.
He thinks 2011's profit could exceed $200,000.
Profits from the DMV office go back into the county's general fund.
Read said the local staff's primary responsibility is taking care of walk-in clients, so if staffing were reduced, their would be less time available to handle dealers' DMV needs.
About 35 to 40 percent of Genesee County's walk-in DMV clients are from outside of Genesee County, and if waits became longer because of staffing constraints, the county would start losing that business as well.
County Manager Jay Gsell called the idea of 5 percent cuts a "suggestion."
"We told the department heads, you know your budget better than we and so we'll take those suggestions and see what to do with it," Gsell said.
During the Ways and Means Committee meeting, there didn't seem to be much enthusiasm for cutting the county clerk's budget.
"The bottom line is the bottom line," said Mary Pat Hancock, chairwoman of the Legislature. "I’m glad you’re making money. I don’t want to hurt that."