Supervisors agreed Friday to bring back up to 10 of the 35 furloughed Department of Public Works employees with the cost coming from savings in the DPW budget.
“We took it to heart,” Cobleskill Supervisor and Finance Committee chair Leo McAllister of Cobleskill said of concerns voiced when supervisors made the cuts—95 in total—last month as a way to get ahead of the economic fallout from COVID-19.
Putting the employees back on the payroll before August 1 as planned—as opposed to unemployment—will cost the county about $50,000, Mr. McAllister said.
DPW Commissioner Dan Crandell will try to find $50,000—or even a portion of it--in his budget, Mr. McAllister said, with likely savings coming from cheaper gas and oil prices and sand and salt the DPW didn’t need to use with the milder winter.
“We’ll see if through that second, third, and fourth quarter…Dan will be looking to see if he can find that money and help pay for that cost.”
Mr. McAllister said he, Mr. Crandell, and County Administrator Steve Wilson spent most of Thursday coming up with the plan, which has Mr. Crandell’s support.
“I think we cut a little bit too much the first time through,” Mr. Crandell said. “We can work through to August 1 with this additional help.”
State funding for CHIPS is uncertain, Mr. Crandell said, answering a question from Gilboa Supervisor Alicia Terry, with estimates suggesting about a 20 percent cut in funding.
Because of that, DPW will probably do about half of the planned roadwork and roll the rest of the CHIPS funding into 2021, he said.
Supervisors voted unanimously to support the plan.
They also voted to bring back one DMV/County Clerk employee and two senior elections specialists at the Board of Elections.