Tough Choices Ahead As Spartanburg County Mulls Budget Cut - WSPA.com

Tough Choices Ahead As Spartanburg County Mulls Budget Cut

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SPARTANBURG, S.C. -

Spartanburg leaders are already preparing to trim department budgets as county council gets ready to give final approval to a cost-saving plan.

The proposal isn't without controversy.

It all started with rising healthcare claims, which were going to be passed along to county employees.

In order to ease the burden on the employees, county council - in a split vote - proposed a 5% across the board budget cut.

That will likely affect services and may lead to layoffs.

"It's not a pretty picture, but you can look around anywhere and see that its not a pretty picture," county HR director Tony Bell said.

Bell said the county is swamped with more healthcare claims at higher costs.

"Unfortunately we just have an unhealthy population," he said.

Bell has looked at cutting particular healthcare options, and even putting the plan out for bid. But he says the costs will mount again down the road.

There's another option for council and that would be a tax increase.

That move does not seem to have enough support on council.

The final approval vote could come Monday night.

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