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Bowie County workers face upcoming cutbacks - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Bowie County workers face upcoming cutbacks

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New Boston, Texas -

Bowie County workers will soon be receiving a cut in salaries and benefits.

In a 4 to 1 vote, commissioners approved the reductions to help keep the county operational through the end of the fiscal year, which is September 30th.

Bowie County Clerk Tina Petty says her office is busy, but small and that she'll have to terminate an employee.

As a result, she says it could affect customer service.

"My employees don't make alot of money, so you couldn't spread it out. It would drop them too low. They couldn't survive," explained Petty.

Sheriff James Prince says his senior officers already make less than a rookie officer in the training academy.

He's now concerned about his officers leaving the department for better salaries.

"How do you go to guys already making less money, working a very dangerous job, how do you tell them they will be making even less?" said Prince.

County Judge Sterling Lacy says there would be no financial crisis if money had not been diverted from the budget.

He's the only official who voted against the reductions.

"I still think the salary reductions are unnecessary. I don't think we've been given the right numbers to start with for this budget year," said Lacy.

Meanwhile, the county has already borrowed $5 million to make through this fiscal year.

While Financial Advisory Committee member Joe Dike says the loans and cutbacks are good start, it won't solve their financial problems.

"They're going to have to take that $5 million and continue the bad spending habits and we haven't addressed the problem that we're spending too much. We need to bring the expenses in line with the revenue," explained Dike.

Precinct 4 Commissioner Mike Carter says his department was already out of money when he got into office.

"We have to get the county sound financially to deliver the services that we are by law mandated to deliver," said Carter.

The salary cuts will go into effect July 31st.

Commissioners will meet again on Monday during their regular session to discuss developing a plan to build up their reserves and control spending.

 

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