Cumberland County tightening purse strings to manage budget impasse

Cumberland County Commissioners implemented interim policies on Monday in order to keep state-funded programs operational while also cushioning some of the financial impact felt by the county until the commonwealth's government can end its budget impasse.

With the county having to spend nearly $3 million per month from the General Fund to keep programs operational due to the impasse, the commissioners voted to immediately enact half a dozen decisive policies related to human services, the county’s General Fund and staff, capital expenses, and grants. 

Human Services departments will withhold full or partial payment for services rendered by providers most able to absorb the action, as determined by department heads and provider discussions. The county intends to continue full service through the providers, and said it would reimburse them for services once state funding resumes or as other funds become available.

The commissioners also imposed a hiring freeze  on new or existing vacated positions reliant on the General Fund. Non-essential travel will be restricted, as will all non-emergency overtime for county staff that has not been previously approved by the Chief Clerk.

Additionally, new capital expenses not approved before today were suspended, along with grant spending in advance of receipt of funds unless specifically designated for salaries of impacted county employees.

Officials plan to continue close monitoring of the county’s financial health, possibly implementing additional measures as needed to safeguard Cumberland County’s financial position.

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