Health Department Budget Issues

by Emily Baird on June 1, 2010 at 6:52 am

The Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department is having some problems with its budget.

It’s unbalanced, and there’s a deficit of more than $300,000.

Health Commissioner Corey Hamilton says the health department was looking to correct this deficit before the mid-year point, which is coming up.

"We did cut pretty much anything that was non-essential close to the beginning of the year to try and do that early, hoping the economy would start to rebounds, grants would start to come in, construction would start up, and we would be able to hang on the remainder of the year, " says Hamilton.

But Hamilton says that’s not going to happen. She says the biggest cost to the health department is staff, and a letter was sent to employees, notifying them of the budget issues last week.

"Anyone that’s interested in voluntarily cutting their hours back to part-time or anyone who is interested or thinking about retiring within the next 18 months or so, we’d like to have a discussion with them just to see if there’s any possibility that we could experience some savings by making adjustments there, " says Hamilton.

Otherwise, Hamilton says the health department may have to look at cutting five, full-time employees.