County budget gets a little breathing room - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

County budget gets a little breathing room

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) –  You could almost hear the sigh of relief from Dougherty County employees. While they still will lose some pay in the coming year, it won't be nearly as bad as they expected.

Thanks to a last minute change in a proposed health services contract at the jail with Phoebe Putney Hospital, the county will only have to furlough workers five days instead of 12.

Tekita Honer works in the Dougherty County elections office. When she heard she would be losing 12 days of pay over the next 12 months, it was tough to absorb. "It was really a shock."

A shock that her paycheck would be cut so drastically. "With the economy the way it is, you worry about every little thing."

Especially about what might be coming next. "After the furlough days, then everybody starts to worry about, are there going to be layoffs and that sort of thing."

So when she heard that instead of 12 unpaid holidays, the county was cutting that to just five, she was pleasantly surprised.

"It was great. That was my reaction, great."

Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard is pleased with the results of negotiations with Phoebe that cut the contract in half for services the hospital will provide the jail, allowing the rest of the money to go back into paychecks. "We feel fortunate that we've reduced it, we're not completely happy obviously, because we'd rather be giving them more obviously."

But Honer is thankful for what the county is doing. "Well it's a good thing because we'll have more money in our paychecks."

A county working to balance its budget, while not breaking the budgets of its employees.

the CEO of the Flint Riverquarium again asked commissioners to consider funding the attraction at some level.

The budget proposal wipes out the $250,000 a year the Riverquarium has been getting. The county will officially adopt the budget June 28th.


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