County employees keep jobs, budget problems worse

By: Katie Roach Email
By: Katie Roach Email

Dozens of Knott County employees still have jobs after layoffs were not approved by the fiscal court, but that means the budget problems are worse.

These circumstances are frustrating to some county employees because even though they still have jobs, there might not be money to pay them.

Brock Amburgey is shocked to be back at work today.

"I thought I was laid off last Friday, I thought last Friday was my last day," said Amburgey who works for Knott County.

Budget problems in Knott County led to layoffs for more than 40 county employees, but the fiscal court voted against the layoffs Monday morning.

"I was planning on going to sign up for unemployment today, but because of the vote and what happened, I'm still employed," said Amburgey.

The fiscal court did not vote on any cuts or the proposed occupational tax meaning there might not be money to pay the employees.

"We can't sign checks for expenses that we don't have the money to pay. By law we can't do that," said Knott County Judge Executive Randy Thompson.

His solution is still the one percent occupational tax, especially now that County Attorney Tim Bates approves it.

"There was some wording in that ordinance that I did not agree with. It has been changed, and it is free to be brought up at any time," said Bates.

Thompson says the county has 11 months to balance the budget before the state comes in a takes over.

But, he also says the county must move faster than that.

"The earliest we could probably begin collecting the tax would be October, and the earliest we would receive the revenue would be January. We're running out of time," said Thompson.

A stalemate, and the county employees are the ones feeling it the most.

The judge executive says at this point it's up to the magistrates to vote for spending cuts or increasing revenue.

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