Magistrates expect layoffs of some Knott County workers

HINDMAN, Ky. (WYMT) - An Eastern Kentucky county that has been struggling financially has a budget, but as part of the proposal, magistrates in Knott County say layoffs are coming.

Officials say they tried to keep as many county workers as they could, but desperate times called for desperate measures. They say they think they have a spending plan the Department of Local Government can approve of.

Magistrates say Thursday's Knott County Fiscal Court meeting brings a budget negotiation months in the making to a close. The talks became more urgent lately due a directive from the Kentucky Department of Local Government, approve a budget or the organization would step in to do it.

"We have hopefully satisfied the Department of Local Government," said magistrate Jamie Mosley. "We have come to the end of what we feel hopefully to balance the budget."

On the second reading of the revised budget, the Knott County Fiscal Court included a payroll reduction of up to 25 percent for the Knott County Sportsplex. Magistrates say layoffs there are likely.

"We regret anybody getting cut, laid off, whatever the case may be," said Mosley.

The Sportsplex has been a major financial burden, costing the county up to $400,000 a year. Magistrates still hope steps can be taken to get the facility out of the red.

"Like in some summer months you know maybe get some activities going on up there to where it will be self-sufficient," said magistrate Calvin Waddles.

In all, magistrates say they expect 10 to 12 county workers will lose their jobs due to cutbacks. They say at least they were able to balance the budget without raising taxes.

"Just had to do some cutbacks, some cut the fat so to say, but we've got the budget we think balanced that they'll be satisfied with," Mosley said.

The budget requires final approval from the Department of Local Government. Magistrates say they expect to hear back from the D.L.G. in a few days.

The fiscal court members said they could not share any specific information about which county employees will be laid off. They said those workers will be notified of their termination by the end of the work day Friday.

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