In an effort to craft a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2015, Blaine County officials were initially faced with a $1.4 million revenue shortfall, and after making some dramatic cuts to their spending plan, they're still facing a nearly half-million-dollar gap.
The Idaho Mountain Express reports
that Blaine County commissioners will need to adopt a tentative budget two weeks from today. The new fiscal year starts Oct. 1, but the spending plan must be adopted and submitted well before then.
And the Mountain Express
reports that Blaine officials held a so-called "budget summit" with all department heads last Thursday, July 31, looking for agencies to pony up additional cuts.
Among the proposals on the table: reducing the hours of operations for county offices from four 10-hour days to four nine-hour days; a freeze of salaries; a freeze of hiring; a two-week furlough; reducing staff by 5 percent and not filling vacated positions for the next three years.
"We're not in a crisis," said Blaine County Commissioner Angenie McCleary. "We're in a serious situation where we want to be as fiscally responsible as possible."