The city of Jackson has a budget deficiency of about 15 million dollars. In efforts to save about 5 million dollars, city officials are enforcing furloughs for city employees - one of Jackson's biggest expenses. The first one is this Friday.
City Councilman Tyrone Hendrix does not agree with that decision. He says the council found alternate resources that wouldn't make a furlough necessary.
"We feel like we were able to find enough money in this current year's budget to prevent the furloughs. The furlough calendar has been sent out by the administration but hopefully we can work together before the 16th comes," says Hendrix.
Hendrix says the 2-year furlough plan is overwhelming for city workers - most of which are low to middle class. He says for them, every dollar counts.
"Two years is a long time for city employees -- especially those at the bottom of the totem pole as far as salaries are concerned -- to take that hit. We already have several city employees, a large percentage them, who have two and three jobs, along with employment with the city. It's just tough," Hendrix says.
About 2,200 Jackson city employees are getting ready for their first monthly furlough day.
City spokeswoman, Shelia Byrd, says it's a tough decision. However, she says all people who will be affected have already been notified.
"I can say that this was not an easy decision. The furlough day was included in the budget that was passed by the city council in September. People have known about this for some time. Other cities have implemented furloughs to address budget gaps, or budget issues. So, this is not a new concept," says Byrd.
Furloughs will take place once a month on a Friday. Fire, police, and public works will not be affected. The city's website will have postings - reminding residents when city offices will be closed.