COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - It appears Branch County government employees will be subject to only three furlough days in 2013. The money saving effort first appeared in the county back in 2011 when there were a dozen such days and they were trimmed down last year to eight. It’s one indication that the economy has turned the corner in the right direction although the county’s budget is still stressed out as evidenced with the on-going drastic cuts with deputy layoffs in the Sheriff’s Department Road Patrol services.
The County Board of Commissioners committee of the whole yesterday recommended the 2013 furlough schedule be advanced to the full Board for approval next Tuesday. The furlough days would be set for July Fifth, December 23rd, and December 30th, all coming before an already scheduled closing day for the courthouse, adding to the expected energy savings with the building not open for an extended holiday period. The estimated savings for each furlough day, when just figuring the energy numbers, has ranged from fifteen hundred to two thousand dollars. The exact savings relative to employee days off has varied but has declined since the furloughs were started.