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Chesterfield County to furlough more than 500 employees

Posted at 7:00 PM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 19:00:49-04

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- More than 500 Chesterfield County employees will be furloughed in an effort to lessen economic blow from Virginia’s ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

“Unfortunately, we find ourselves in unusual circumstances as the national, state and local economies continue to be negatively impacted by COVID-19 and the subsequent quarantines,” said Dr. Joseph P. Casey, county administrator. “It’s projected that the nation will be facing the worst-ever financial quarter. With a significant impending economic downturn, as good stewards of taxpayer monies we’ve already had to make some tough decisions and take money-saving measures.”

“While real estate is Chesterfield’s main source of revenue, almost 40% of revenues are still tied directly to consumer behavior such as retail sales and travel. Included in that percentage is the county’s dependence on state revenues which are tied directly to employment and spending,” a press release issued Monday stated. “Combined, these are at the heart of the current economic disruption.”

To limit the reductions the county would need to make, discretionary expenditures were stopped and county department budgets were frozen.

But beginning April 4, more than 500 part-time and full-time county employees will be furloughed indefinitely.

Roughly, 10% are currently vacant positions, according to the county.

Employees were notified last week and given a packet of materials outlining their eligibility for unemployment and information regarding six-months of dental and health benefits paid by the county.

“This wasn’t an easy decision and one that was not taken lightly,” said Casey. “We hope this pandemic will soon end and that our economy can make a quicker than expected comeback.”

Residents will be able to view the entire revised Chesterfield County FY2021 Budget on Friday, April 3.

In order to share the amended budget and provide residents with an opportunity to ask questions, the county will host two Facebook Live budget presentations at 7 p.m. on Mon., April 6 and Tues., April 7.