ALEXANDER COUNTY, IL (KFVS) - Alexander County employees are facing possible layoffs, including sheriff's deputies and dispatchers.
The Alexander County Board of Commissioners Chairman Chalen Tatum said offices within the county have been given a decreased budget for the months of October and November. The adjusted budgets address employee salaries only.
Tatum said each office holder must decide how to make the new budget work in their office. In some offices, the decreased budgets could result in layoffs.
The circuit clerk's office will have $6,170.54 per month. The county clerk's office will have $5,747.54 per month. The treasurer's office will have $6,198.68 per month. The sheriff's office will have $19,595.20 per month. The assessor's office will have $4,558.46
per month. The state's attorney's office will have $13,052.62 per month. The corornor will have $920.00 per month. The county board will have $2,475.00 per month.
According to Tatum, the county is $1.6 million in debt. That issue combined with the state of Illinois' frozen budget, Tatum said, puts the board in a tight position and these cuts are a necessity.
Some county residents say one concern is how this may affect response time and protection from the sheriff's department, as the cuts could cause layoffs of deputies and dispatchers. However, other residents like Mary Heisner say if deputies are laid-off, they don't see it as a safety concern. They don't have must trust in their sheriff's department anyway.
Currently, there are 13 employees at the sheriff's department. The sheriff's salary is about $50,000 per year. The sheriff did not comment on this issue and what layoffs might be made to his office because of these budget cuts.
Heisner says she was not surprised to hear about this financial mess and the budget cuts.
"They were going to happen regardless. I mean, Alexander County has had problems with their budget for a very long time. So, it's not surprising," Heisner said.
The new budget goes into effect the end of September, so layoffs would go into effect by October 1.
Tatum said a new budget will be discussed in December.