County officials are being told to cut their budgets by at least another 10 percent

Joyce L. Miller

A dismal budget forecast and declining sales tax revenues are forcing the Camden County Commission to take some drastic measures in 2010.

Effective Jan. 1, 2010, employees who want to keep their health insurance will be paying a percentage of the premiums. Commissioners say they can no longer bear the expense without employee participation. The county is paying approximately $1.2 million annually for the 270-some employees.

The cuts were announced  on Thursday during a meeting with elected officials to outline what the county is facing. In the last two years, Camden County has seen an overall decrease in sales tax revenue of slightly more than 16 percent. Heading into the 2010 budget process, they are predicting to see that trend continue.

County officials are being told to cut their budgets by at least another 10 percent, according to Presiding Commissioner Carolyn Loraine. At the same time the county wants to avoid pulling money from the reserve funds.

What the county is cutting
Paid holidays will drop from 14 to 7.
Employees will lose two personal days and will no longer receive a paid day off for their birthday.
Employees will pay an average of $75 per month for health insurance
Commissioners are doing away with a policy that provides a monthly reimbursing  for eight days of travel to and from their homes
All departments will remain under a wage and hiring freeze. 

Read the complete story in the Weekend Lake Sun, available at news stands and boxes Friday morning through the weekend.