Interim County Administrator Charley Nix said after discussions this week with department heads, everyone agreed that shutting down all county offices for one day every month is the simplest way to handle the newly approved one-day- per-month furlough for all county employees. All county employees will take the days off without pay, with the exception of public safety, landfill and some public works personnel.
In many instances, the closings are planned around holidays, during which county offices are closed. County offices will be closed on the following dates: Oct. 31, Nov. 26, Dec. 26, Jan. 20, Feb. 16, March 16, April 27, May 26 and June 22.
The Hall County Board of Commissioners approved its Expense Reduction Plan and discussed details of the employee furloughs, part of the plan, at its Thursday meeting.
"In scheduling these closings, we’re being proactive based on the facts and forecasts we have now," Nix said.
The furlough will save Hall County about $1.7 million by June 30, the end of the fiscal year.
Some 70 percent of the county’s general fund budget goes toward personnel costs.
The furlough results in a 4.5 percent salary reduction, but prevents about 44 people from losing their jobs, according to Assistant County Administrator Phil Sutton.
Along with the employee furlough, the Expense Reduction Plan includes other cost-saving measures, such as eliminating unplanned overtime, eliminating promotions to fill vacancies and offering voluntary layoffs.
The county is having to make budget cuts due to a drop in revenue so far this year, which is expected to continue. The state already has approved furloughs for state employees due to a revenue shortfall that has saddled the state with a shortfall of about $1.6 billion.