Genesee County facing $1M budget shortfall

$1-million---thatâ??s the budget shortfall Genesee County is facing. County commissioners say they'll close that gap by March 31st.

County commissioners say it all comes down to staffing costs. All county employees are taking furlough days to help close the budget gap. Commissioners say furlough days are necessary to keep an emergency financial manager from taking over the county's finances.

County commissioners are adamant---they will close a $1-million shortfall by the end of March.

â??We may just be able to---and Iâ??m not going to say may, we will eliminate that $1-million budget (gap),â?? says Brenda Clack, a Genesee County commissioner.

â??We will have erased the deficit and have a truly balanced budget as of March 31st,â?? says Jamie Curtis, chair of the Genesee County commission.

The deficit comes from a decrease in home values and less money from the state. Commissioners say home values across Genesee County have fallen about 30-percent. The county has to make up for that gap somehow.

â??We have to ask people to step up to the plate,â?? says Clack.

First up to the plate are all county employees. They're making concessions.

â??People are taking seven unpaid days off,â?? says Curtis. â??That's everybody, everybody,â?? he adds.

Commissioners say these cuts are necessary so the county doesn't fall behind the eight ball.

â??We don't want to face an emergency manager,â?? says Clack.

â??Next year will be the first year, since 2008, that we can do our budget, do it early and not have to carve out a lot of revenue,â?? says Curtis.

NBC25 reached out to the Genesee County Employees Union and the county's interim controller, but they were unavailable for comment.