Lawrence County furloughs over 40 employees

Lawrence County furloughs over 40 employees

WALNUT RIDGE, Ark. (KAIT) - Lawrence County officials made the difficult decision to furlough employees in every department, starting Monday.

Over 40 people will be affected by the decision.

The furlough allows those who are affected to work part-time and draw federal unemployment benefits.

County Judge John Thomison says that this decision was made with the hopes to help the county without hurting its employees.

“It keeps our workers hired, and it allows us to do some work... so that we make it through the year in as good a shape as we can be," Judge Thomison said. "But, it was an option to either do nothing or try to do something to help ourselves.”

Thomison says the budget has been hit hard, especially in the road department, and the goal for the county is to get through the next fiscal year.

Thomison estimates that the move will save a grand total of $130,000 to $135,000, including $48,900 for the road department. There is also a contingency plan in place for emergencies.

He also says to expect services to be offered at a slower pace, except emergency services, the jail, the sheriff’s office, which are still fully staffed.

Thomison says that the county is doing the best they can with the money they have, and he says this was a group effort among the county and the employees, including some administrators in emergency services who voluntarily reduced their hours.

The furlough is expected to end on July 31.

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