FAIRMONT — The town manager on Tuesday added two more jobs that would be eliminated under her budget proposal, bringing the number to 12 of people who would lose work under the plan. Nine of the positions are part-time.
Linda Vause made the presentation during a second budget workshop, saying that a loss of revenue is forcing the elimination of positions. She had previously recommended eliminating two full-time positions and eight part-time positions in Communications.
Vause on Tuesday recommended replacing one full-time police officer with two part-time employees. According to Vause, the town would to save about $11,145 annually by not having to pay the benefits of a full-time position.
Vause also suggested eliminating a part-time crossing guard position at Rosenwald Elementary School, which would save about $5,000 a year.
Vause has suggested turning Communications and Tax Collections over to the county, and said the affected employees would have a good chance to be hired by that government.
“Communications has been in discussions for several years,” Vause said. “They’re all understanding — they understand where the town’s coming from.”
During the first budget workshop on May 28, Vause proposed eliminating eight part-time positions, which she said were the equivalent of one full-time position.
Vause said the elimination of one full-time officer and the crossing-guard would bring the budget deficit down to $400.
Mayor Charles Kemp said that the town was left with no choice but to make tough cuts.
“Until this year I had mixed feelings about it because you get used to having dispatching 24 hours a day,” Kemp said, “but budgetary issues had popped up now and we’re having to save money wherever we can — this is probably the easiest route.”
Vause said that the town would be able to save about $70,000 in the General Fund during the 2014-2015 fiscal year based on her recommendations.
“2014, 2015 looks brighter,” she said.
Kemp said that the Board of Commissioners still has to discuss details of the budget before it votes on the plan. The budget takes effect July 1.
“We’re still early into the budget process,” Kemp said. “We have several more meetings, but the board is in agreement that there has to be something done if we cannot find any additional revenue.”
Vause’s $1.2 million budget plan keeps the tax rate of 73 cents for every $100 of property, maintains fees, does not include a cost-of-living increase or any capital projects.
A public hearing for the proposed budget is scheduled for the board’s next meeting, on June 13.