Layoffs, Service Reduction Likely After Council Orders Stiff Cut -

Layoffs, Service Reduction Likely After Council Orders Stiff Cuts

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Jobs could be lost and county services reduced if Spartanburg County Council follows through with a proposed five percent across-the-board budget cut.

The move, according to county administrators, would free up about $4.1 million that would be applied to rising health insurance premiums for county employees.

The county says employees would have to pay about $1 million more in combined premium increases next year if council chose to do nothing.

The money generated from the cuts would cover next year's premium increases, and the balance would be put in a savings account to help pay for future healthcare costs, councilman O'Neal Mintz said.

Mintz was the one to suggest the cut, and he garnered enough support from colleagues Jane Hall, Michael Brown and Jeff Horton for the proposed motion to pass. Councilmen Dale Culberth, David Britt and Roger Nutt voted against the proposal.

County administrators will have Thursday and Friday to go to each department head to ask them to cut five percent out of their proposed budget. The collective cuts will be presented to council Monday where they could give final approval to next fiscal year's budget which goes into effect July 1.

County Administrator Katherine Hubbard warned council that a "serious conversation" needs to be had about the impacts such a cut would have to departments already struggling to provide critical services to citizens.

She said it would be certain employees would be laid off, and services (from police to court duties) would be cut. 

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