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Largo expects to cut 40 positions, hopes to minimize layoffs

Largo expects to cut nearly 40 positions next fiscal year.

To minimize the number of layoffs, the city is offering incentives for workers to leave or retire early, said human resources director Susan Sinz.

The incentives will be offered to workers in jobs that are targeted for cuts.

The equivalent of 39.8 full-time positions are targeted, but, because of the incentives and hiring freezes, the city expects to cut just a handful of people, Sinz said.

Employees who are eligible for early retirement will receive three months of pay and three months of city health insurance coverage. They must be at least 59 1/2 by the end of June, when their retirement becomes effective.

Packages for other employees will vary, depending on how long they have worked for the city. The maximum is three months of pay and three months of health insurance.

Those workers will be able to choose a final work date, as long as their incentives conclude by Sept. 30.

Largo pays 75 to 90 percent of premiums for city workers, depending on whether workers have family or individual health coverage.

The city estimates that the position cuts will save about $240,000.

Finance director Kim Adams said the current budget calculations are in flux because of the uncertainty of the economy.

"We're continually monitoring the economy and revising our revenues," Adams said.

At this point, the city expects to cut about $3.5 million from its general fund budget, which is projected at about $60 million.

Earlier this year, about 10 people in seven departments opted for early retirement and separation incentives out of more than 100 eligible employees.

On Tuesday, the city announced the promotions of six fire-rescue workers, a move that was linked to the retirement of two fire-rescue administrators. One of those administrators, Deputy Chief Jeff Day, took the early retirement incentive earlier this year.

Last year, the city cut 38 positions, mostly through attrition and early retirement.

Lorri Helfand can be reached at (727) 445-4155 or lorri@sptimes.com.

Largo expects to cut 40 positions, hopes to minimize layoffs 05/05/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 5, 2009 8:33pm]
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