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March 1, 2013

Floyd facing $2.4M deficit

Offices asked to make cuts

NEW ALBANY — Floyd County is facing a $2.4 million budget deficit, and unless action is taken in the next few weeks, money to fund the government will run out in September.

The Floyd County Council held a special meeting Thursday at the Pine View Government Center to inform officeholders and the public of the situation and what is being done to correct it. Until a plan is unveiled later in the month, Council President John Schellenberger said there would be a county hiring freeze for 30 days. 

There is also a spending freeze and each officeholder was asked to cut 10 percent of their budget by the end of the day Monday. The council will look at the recommendations and help make the cuts before coming up with a final plan to solve the problem in a week or two.

“Until we get a handle on the situation, the general fund is frozen, EDIT is frozen and [the] riverboat [fund] is frozen,” Schellenberger said. “Once we come up with a plan for savings, then hopefully we can get back on track. We know the situation is frustrating, but we are doing the best we can do.”

Schellenberger said there would be no layoffs or furloughs involved in the plan. He also said a committee has been formed that includes Director of County Operations Don Lopp, his assistant and former auditor Teresa Plaiss, and Amanda Ault, the new chief deputy auditor for Floyd County, to help make recommendations to fix the budget problem. He said they already found $2 million in cuts/savings, but another $400,000 will have to be found in the next few weeks.

Council members said the problem began when they received the wrong figures last fall from the auditor’s office when they were preparing the 2013 budget. They said they were told they had $11.1 million to work with in the general fund, but only had $9.4 million. They also thought they had $4.2 in CAGIT funds, but in reality had $3.4 million.

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