Beckham County tightens budget belt

A press release from the Beckham County Courthouse on Monday announced there are changes coming to how the county government is going forward with their budget and spending practices. 

 “The County is by no means going bankrupt, but changes need to be made to account for the loss of revenue from the drop in the oil and gas industry in 2014,” said County Commissioner Chairman Johnny Davis. All eight elected county officers have spent several hours over the course of several meetings discussing the upcoming budget for the 2019-2020 fiscal year, which begins July 1.

The officers have decided to make a few changes to try and offset a portion of the budget. The release states that all the elected officers have unanimously decided to take a 4% pay cut, about $2,200 annually for each officer, as well as looking to reduce approximately 20% of each individual office’s annual budget. There will not be any decrease in salary for any Beckham County employees. The County will continue to fully fund each employee’s Health, Dental, and Vision Insurance, although there will be a Health Insurance Deductible increase from $750 to $1500. Officers have decided to remove the safety and longevity bonus pay for the time being and are requiring that each employee pay an additional 1.5% of their monthly paychecks into their own retirement accounts, reducing the County’s portion from 16.5% to 15%.

Additionally, changes are being made to vacation time. The County has decided to end the increase of the earned vacation time depending on years employed and limit each employee to earning 10 hours per month of vacation time beginning April 1. Also, employees will have a set limit on vacation time carried over, based on the amount the...

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