Press-Republican

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December 7, 2012

Essex County hiring freeze confirmed

(Continued)

The projected tax levy would be about $16.7 million, a 2.6 percent increase over this year.

The board also OK’d using more of the anticipated $1.9 million in tax-sale money to come in under the state’s 2.6 percent tax-cap formula for Essex County, if the cuts fall short.

County Board of Supervisors Chair Randy Douglas (D-Jay) told fellow supervisors and county employees to brace for big changes next year.

“We need to work hard, we need to work together,” he said. “We’ve got to get back to a team. I will meet with all department heads, see what (their) needs are.”

‘2014 OUTLOOK VERY BLEAK’

Essex County Treasurer Michael Diskin said the board it will be facing an immediate $8 million deficit for the 2014 budget.

“The outlook for 2014 will be very bleak. I have some concerns about our being able to meet ordinary needs, making payroll. I’m stating an opinion based on what I see coming down the road.”

He said they may not be able to provide all services.

“We’re committed to provide the appropriate level of services within our fiscal constraints. Department heads want to be a part of the process. Look at a three-to-five-year spending plan. We stand ready to help you in the process.”

The county is holding a second public hearing on the proposed budget at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10, in the Old County Courthouse in Elizabethtown. A special meeting of the board to vote on budget approval will follow at 7 p.m.

Email Lohr McKinstry: lmckinstry@pressrepublican.com

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