Lee County commissioners reverse decision - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Lee County commissioners reverse decision

November 21, 2006

Lee County--  A major reversal from Lee County Commissioners struggling to deal with a huge budget problem. They won't lay off four county employees after all.

Lee County is working to reduce a half million dollar shortfall. Last week, commissioners approved several money saving steps including getting rid of four workers. After hearing from other employees and constituents, commissioners reversed that decision Tuesday night.

Several employees offered to take unpaid days off to help save those jobs. Commissioners accepted that offer and will ask other county employees to volunteer to take furloughs of up to six days between now and July.

"It's the holidays. It's tough to lay folks off and we don't really want to do that unless we have to and we decided to rescind that and hunt other ways to cut the budget.  We think this will work," said Lee County Commissioner Wally Roberts.

They're hoping as many employees as possible will volunteer even if it's just a one-day furlough. Commissioners will meet again next week to talk more about the budget crisis.

Tuesday night, the commissioners also discussed Grand Island Golf Course's $840,000 budget with golf course managers.

The county owns the course and some commissioners say its budget is "out of control."

They talked about raising rates and dues by as much as 15-percent and trying to reduce spending by about $100,000 in an effort to break even with the facility or perhaps make a little money.

"They're reviewing the budget to determine how expenditures and budgets can match and if the goal is to do that and get it done, it can be very likely the golf course will continue to operate," said County Administrator Alan Ours.

Grand Island management will use the next few days to determine if they could operate on that new conservative budget.

They'll meet with commissioners again before any final decisions are made.

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