The joint Social Services budget for Bellevile, Quinte West, and Hasting County has come in “significantly” under last year’s figure…at 74-point-eight million dollars. The Hastings-Quinte Social Services budget shows a 16-percent drop of five-point-two million dollars. Part of this is the ongoing uploading of some services to the provincial government…and five staff cuts…three of them vacancies. Deputy Director Steve Gatward says the department predicts a 3-percent jump in welfare costs, compared to the provincial 10-percent.. He says there’s more good economic news in this region than in other parts of the provnce. The cost share for the two cities dropped slightly, and increased slightly for the county.