Tompkins County Announces Furloughs, Budget Cuts

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ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – A revenue shortage resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted the furloughs of 96 Tompkins County employees.

Celia Clarke/WSKG Public Radio

Jason Molino, Tompkins County Administrator (right). (Celia Clarke/WSKG Public Radio)

County Administrator Jason Molino said no department was exempt from cuts.  Molino said factors that went into deciding who would be furloughed included work load, their ability for work at home and their eligibility for unemployment benefits.

“Any furloughed employee, for the most part all furloughed employees will experience no decrease in gross weekly income,” said Molino. “And that was a strategy we took with this to try to minimize the disruption to employees at least for the time being.”

Molino said that some senior staff people volunteered for furloughs so their colleagues could keep their jobs.

Full and part-time employees are included in the furloughs. There is also a hiring freeze that will affect most of 32 positions now vacant.

Molino said the furloughs are intended to be temporary and should only last until July 31.

In making the budget cuts, he said county leaders assumed there would be no federal assistance. So far, Congress has only passed an aid package for municipalities with populations over 500,000.

Tompkins County has a population of about 102,000.