Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Health Department May Shut Down Without Budget

The ongoing state budget impasse is of growing concern to Ford County Board members, who were warned Monday night that the continued withholding of payments owed by the state could force the closure of the Ford County Public Health Department within only a few months. The health department’s administrator, Lana Sample, told the Paxton Record that she is considering all options to slash expenses amid the state budget crisis, including potential mandatory furloughs that would limit the paid work week to four or perhaps even three days. Sample said she has already implemented a hiring freeze, opting not to fill a pair of vacated full-time positions, which reduced the staff to seven. Staff members are trying to keep their reimbursable travel costs to a minimum, as well. If no budget is passed and state funding is withheld the Ford County Public Health Department, which began operation only 18 months ago, could be forced to shut as early as the end of February.