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County government bringing back laid off workers Aug. 1

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 29 July 2020 at 10:38 am

ALBION – The county government is bringing back workers who were temporary laid off in April due to fiscal constraints on the county due to plummeting sales tax revenues, and delays in aid and reimbursements from the state.

The County Legislature on April 18 voted to temporarily lay off 34 employees and also not fill 10 vacant positions.

The county has already recalled nine of the laid off workers in the past month. County officials have notified 25 other employees they should report to work on Aug. 1 or their first scheduled day of work in August. The county will keep 11 positions vacant for now, said Jack Welch, the county’s chief administrative officer.

The layoffs were voluntary with the employees receiving the $600 weekly in enhanced federal unemployment assistance, on top of the usual unemployment. The $600 from the federal government expires this week.

Republicans in Congress have proposed extending the enhanced federal unemployment benefits at $200 a week, while Democrats are pushing for the $600 weekly stipend to continue.

Welch said the county’s budget situation would be vastly improved if Congress and President Trump approve aid for local and state government as part of a stimulus and federal relief package currently under negotiation in Washington, D.C.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has been pressing Congress and the president to approve federal funding for states and local governments or else there will be drastic cuts in services with local tax increases.

“Until we know where we stand in state aid we are not planning across-the-board type of cuts,” Welch said. “We are looking to target cuts directly with the reduction with state and or federal aid reductions. We need a few more pieces of this puzzle before we could make wise and prudent decisions. August will hopefully be the key month when all of these pieces finally come together.”

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