Apr 3, 2013 6:11 PM by David Ortiviz
Pueblo County employees are getting a raise, but they're also facing a big challenge as the county deals with a $4 million deficit over the next couple of years.
This morning Pueblo County Commissioners unanimously passed a "belt-tightening" measure.
Under this plan all 1,100 county employees will receive a 1.7% pay raise starting immediately. However each department must reduce their budgets by 2%, or face deeper cuts next year.
Commissioners challenged every worker to come up with ideas to make government more efficient. "The net ultimate goal here is to find a way to close this spending gap, because that's marching up on us and we don't have a choice. We have to find a way to close that gap or we're out of business," said Terry Hart, Pueblo County Commissioner.
Nine percent of county employees qualify for welfare or other public assistance according to the board. Commissioners say the salary increase is overdue, but at the same time the county has to become more efficient to avoid furloughs and layoffs.