County board votes down proposed furloughs & raises

Coronavirus

MACON COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — The Macon County Board turned down a resolution Thursday night that would have had all county departments furlough employees during the pandemic.

That means county leaders are now charged with finding other ways to accommodate for the financial toll the pandemic will likely take on the budget. Macon County is sitting on a hefty budget shortfall. “We started the year with a $710,000 deficit,” said County Board Chairman Kevin Greenfield. “Our insurance premiums went up this year $325,000 dollars. So we’re at $1,035,000 deficit right now.” He said that stands to get worse as the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to unfold.

“We have to put a stop to the bleeding,” said Greenfield. He proposed that all county departments require all employees to periodically take 10 unpaid furlough days through November 30. “That would save use about $900,000. That’s about $525,000 out of the general fund.” But that resolution was rejected by the board, with no alternative proposed right now.

“We’ll just sit back and have a $325,000 deficit in the insurance and the $710,000 deficit we started with and we’ll ride that out until the end of November, I guess, and see how much more we are in debt,” said Greenfield. Other resolutions may be presented in the future to curb the county’s potential revenue loss.

At that same meeting, the county board also voted not to give four elected county officials raises for the upcoming term. That means the auditor, circuit clerk, recorder and coroner’s salaries will stay the same as they are now through 2024. Each office holder makes a base salary of around $84,000.

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