Hall County Administrator Charley Nix said the county is at its "core" after eliminating 28 positions in next year’s budget.
Nix said layoffs came in departments that have seen less demand during the recession, including the Tax Commissioner’s Office, Building Inspection, Building Maintenance and Engineering.
"When you looked at them, they leaped out at you," Nix said. You really could tell they were directly related to the economy. I think the departments themselves knew that they weren’t as busy as they once were."
Because of decreased need, Nix said the moves should not affect the county’s ability to provide services. Nix said many of the 28 positions were not layoffs but rather were vacant and eliminated, meaning they will not be filled even when the economy rebounds.
"We did not eliminate from public safety positions," Nix said. "That’s most likely the next cut that we would have to consider. What we have here is the core of our nonsafety positions."
Nix said he and other county staff expect this to be the only cuts needed unless the economy worsens over the next fiscal year.
"I know projecting the revenues is risky business, but most economists feel like we’ve bottomed out," Nix said. "I think we’re in good shape with the decisions we’ve made."
Previously, about 70 percent of the county’s budget was dedicated to employment. By eliminating positions and continuing a hiring freeze and employee furloughs, the county was able to shave its employee expenses by 10 percent.
"It puts us at about 60 percent of our budget being related to salaries," Nix said. "We’re kind of at our core set point without affecting the citizens."