Floyd County Council still debating solution to $3 million budge - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Floyd County Council still debating solution to $3 million budget shortfall

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)---It's a number Floyd County council members say can't be overlooked when looking at their budget. They're facing a $3.6 million dollar shortfall. They say estimated expenses are $12.3 million, but the estimated revenue is only $8.6 million, leaving them struggling financially.

They say they're scrambling to come up with a solution, and in a meeting on Thursday evening at the Pineview Government Center, named numerous reasons why they're facing this problem.  

"The Camm trial has cost us about 4.5 million dollars in the initial trial and the two appeals that is being paid from the general fund, the rainy day fund, and the EDIT fund (Economic Development Income Tax fund)," says Council President John Schellenberger.

Council President John Schellenberger told the crowded room that the William Clyde Gibson trial is costing them $300,000 dollars, that they lost money when the Inheritance Tax was eliminated by the state, and that they have faced unfunded mandates.

In the meeting on Thursday, some council members threw out possibilities like "layoffs", "raising taxes" and getting departments to re-evaluate their budgets.

County employees say they need to look at other solutions.

"It's not our responsibility to bail you out as the employees of this county," says Cheryl Mills, a government employee.  

"Why should we have to pay more? I'm not talking as a public official now. I'm talking as a fed up taxpayer. We're not getting what we paid for," says Dan Coffey, a New Albany Council Member.

Some say, the purchase of the former Pineview Elementary school, which was turned into a government center, costing nearly $1.5 million dollars in renovations, is to blame.

"They did their job poorly, but to take it out on us is a travesty," says Cheryl Mills.

Council member Brad Striegel says they owe it to taxpayers to not jump to a decision.

"I've never been in favor of layoffs. I don't believe we've done our due diligence as a council to look at all options," says Brad Striegel.

Striegel says however, he is concerned time is running out to come up with a solution. 

"I know that we didn't get into this problem overnight. I don't believe this is going to be an overnight fix," says Brad Striegel.

"Don't pass the buck. Stand up and keep these people working. You've got Thanksgiving, Christmas and a horrible economy going on and they're worried about their jobs. That's wrong," says Dan Coffey.

The county has until November 1st to submit a budget to the state.

There will be another meeting next Thursday, October 24th, where they will attempt to adopt a budget and name a committee to come up with possible alternatives to the deficit problem.

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