Tough choice in Bullitt County: layoffs or borrow money to solve financial difficulties? - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Tough choice in Bullitt County: layoffs or borrow money to solve financial difficulties?

Are temporary layoffs the solution to Bullitt County's current financial problems?  At least two officials say it's a better solution than borrowing money.

Last week, Fox 41's Dick Irby reported that Bullitt County began the new fiscal year with only about $500,000 in the bank.

The county judge proposed obtaining a $2 million line of credit to help the county until fall tax collections begin.  But county magistrates said no.

Bullitt Magistrate Ed Bleemel says, "We need someone to look into that, quickly. Quickly."

Fiscal Court members discussed ways to raise money or save money at Tuesday's meeting.   But when they were handed $534,000 in new bills, the county's $824,000 bank balance fell to a new low.

County Treasurer Kenann Bradley pointed out, "That will leave you an estimate of $290,206.05 in your bank account."  $290,000 will barely cover the county's next payroll.  But County Judge Melanie Roberts says she still didn't have the votes to obtain a bank line of credit: "That's what the magistrates want to do.  They want to play it by ear.  Again, it's their budget."

Magistrates think about $100,000 in insurance tax money will come in this month -- enough to meet payroll.  But it will be October and November before new insurance and property tax revenue comes in.

Magistrates Joe Laswell and Ed Bleemel say it may be time to face reality.  Laswell says, "Other counties through the Commonwealth, I talked to several county judges yesterday, are having layoffs.  They are just temporary layoffs and, in my opinion, this court needs to look at that."

During Tuesday's meeting, Judge-Executive Roberts was criticized for failing to work with other county officials and for doing a poor job of money management -- charges she denied.  "I'm the first women to win this position.  All my predecessors werre men.  I think that's a challenge for some people."

Some spectators at the meeting accused Fiscal Court members of bickering like little children.  But since money problems aren't going to just disappear, they may soon have to come together for some tough decisions, including layoffs.

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