By Brad Segall

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) – Public hearings are scheduled for today on the proposed Montgomery County budget for next year, a $411-million spending plan that slashes nearly $1-million in earmarks to social service agencies and non-profits.

The Montgomery County Commissioners are expected to get an earful from representatives of more than a dozen organizations that provide services to abused women, underprivileged kids and victims of crime. Also on the hit list is the Elmwood Park Zoo which stands to lose $114,000.

Executive Director Albert Zone says the cut in funding would hurt short-term.

“We are making a lot of changes in our thinking over here, trying to run it more like a business to be able to rely more on the gate and a little bit less off government funding. But we’re not at that point yet.”

He says they’ve turned the numbers around nicely over the past year increasing their membership from 1,600 to a little over 6,000 in just one year. He remains hopeful though that the county will restore most if not all of the funding which they say comes in handy over the winter when their admissions fall off.

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