PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (WYMT) - Update 12/31/13:
On Monday, the Floyd County sheriff announced a number of layoffs and cuts in services coming to his department.
Sheriff John K. Blackburn says he did not sign off on a budget passed Monday by the Floyd County Fiscal Court that cuts his budget for payroll nearly in half, and requires the sheriff's department to begin shouldering the cost of health insurance and retirement for employees.
"There's no way I have that money when I have to borrow money just to make the payroll in January and February," he said.
Judge Executive R.D. "Doc" Marshall says decreases in coal severance and other revenue streams mean the county now faces a roughly 2.5-million-dollar deficit.
"I've actually approached them for several years now, how we could overcome a lot of these financial difficulties, but there was simply no action," he said.
Beginning January 1st, the sheriff says he has no choice to make layoffs and shut down his office after 4 p.m.
With evening and overnight services suspended, the sheriff says he worries what that will mean of the safety of the people of Floyd County.
"The way crime is this day and time, we definitely need law enforcement," he said, "but the fiscal court evidently don't feel that way."
Judge Marshall says the county is at a stop sign in the road, and something has to be done to shore up the deficit.
"There comes a time when you have none to pay, and that's where we're at," he said.
The sheriff says he already told seven of his employees Tuesday would be their last day at work, and he expects more layoffs will follow.
Original Story 12/30/13:
Layoffs and cutbacks are coming to the Floyd County Sheriff's Office.
Sheriff John K. Blackburn says the cutbacks are due to mismanagement on the part of members of the Floyd County Fiscal Court.
The sheriff says the fiscal court is punishing the citizens of Floyd County by not making law enforcement a priority.
In a faxed letter, the sheriff says the Floyd County Fiscal Court used a special meeting Monday to cut his department's budget nearly in half.
Blackburn says the fiscal court will no longer pay for health insurance, retirement, workers compensation, or liability insurance, and is tacking on additional expenses like rent at the courthouse and McDowell annex, utilities, phone service, and the cost of county audits.
He says he has "no choice but to make difficult layoffs and cut backs" and names Floyd County Judge Executive R.D. "Doc" Marshall and magistrates John Goble, Hattie Owens, Warren Jarrell and Ronnie Akers the ones responsible.
Sheriff Blackburn announced an end to evening and night dispatch services, and all law enforcement after 4 p.m.
The changes are to go into effect January 1st.
WYMT tried to reach the judge executive and the county magistrates for this story, but as of late Monday, calls were not answered.