PIKEVILLE, Ky.- Over the past several weeks the Pike County Fiscal Court has been trying to balance their 2016-2017 budget without having to layoff and make budget cuts. However, due to a large economic decline in the regional economy and the loss of millions of dollars in coal severance money, that proved to be impossible.
According to Judge Executive Bill Deskins, “This was the hardest decision I’ve had to make, but we had no choice, if we didn’t balance the budget, the state would step in and take over.”
In all 19 county employees were laid off, 10 were administrative, many of those are magistrate secretaries, five were hourly employees and four were seasonal employees, the fiscal court also agreed to accept one resignation. All layoffs will take affect by July 1.
Deskins added that the layoffs were necessary considering Pike County is working with less money than it has had in previous years.
At last week’s meeting two Solid Waste employees were terminated, therefore, one of the laid off hourly employees could possibly be hired back to fill a vacancy. According to Johnda Billiter these cuts saved the county an estimated one-million dollars.
With the county having a budget of four million dollars less than last year, cuts had to be made somewhere, in addition to the layoffs the budget for the road department was cut by two million dollars, solid waste has a one million dollar budget cut and the jail was cut by $500,000.
Last night’s reading of the proposed budget will now be sent to Frankfort for approval. A second reading will have to be held before finalizing the budget.
The Pike County Fiscal Court is scheduled to again on Tuesday, June 21 at 10 a.m. on the second floor of the old courthouse.
(Kendra Mahon is a reporter for The Gilbert Times and the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2278.)