The Starke County Commissioners have taken a number of cost saving measures under advisement. The county has already cut more $566,000 in expenditures from the 2016 budget per orders from the state. One concern raised during the budget review process was a lack of money in the county’s cash balance. Auditor Kay Chaffins presented a list of possible cuts to the commissioners Monday evening aimed at shoring those funds up. They include suspending the highway department’s billing of labor costs to other departments for the first half of the year, charging departments like Starke County Community Corrections and WIC for information technology services and requiring employees to have their paychecks direct deposited.
Other possible savings can be realized by increasing the amount of money county employees pay for their health insurance and eliminating all clerical first deputy positions throughout county government. Some full-time employees could also be shifted to part-time in order to save money.
No action has been taken on any of those proposals. The commissioners asked Chaffins to get more firm estimates on how much money they could possibly save prior to their next meeting. President of the Commissioners Kent Danford notes none of the options are desirable but says the county is “behind the 8 ball” when it comes to finances.