Temporary layoffs may affect services in Merrill - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Temporary layoffs may affect services in Merrill

Temporary layoffs may affect services in Merrill

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by Elizabeth Fay

WAUSAU (WAOW)--Temporary layoffs may affect city services in Merrill. City Council members voted last week to temporarily cut five workers from the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Union. They're all serving a three month layoff.

Two workers come from the Street Department. One worker each from the departments: Water Utility, Wastewater, Parks and Recreation.

City Administrator, Tony Chladek, says the layoffs will save Merrill more than $38,000. But Alderperson Anne Caylor wonders if it's worth it.

"It's going to affect services. It's going to create overtime. I mean, I don't see where we are going to "recoup" everything we are going to try and save with these layoffs," says Caylor.

Despite losing 5 workers, the administrator says they don't plan on cutting any services up front.

"We are going to try and provide the same services that we have been and we are going to be evaluating those services over the next three months to determine whether or not these layoffs warrant future consideration of service efficiencies," says Chladek.

The three month layoffs began on Monday. Caylor worries that services will now suffer.

"They've put the parks department, for example, in a really tough spot. At this time of year, when they are trying to get soccer fields ready, they are trying to get ball diamonds in town, that affects the kids in town, the school district sports. Everything is affected by the fact that we laid off one person from Park and Rec. They only have two!" says Caylor.

City Administrator, Tony Chladek, says opting to layoff the workers was the best option to meet a budget shortfall and fairly treat all the unions.

"It was a decision that was made by council, so we are implementing it," says Chladek.

Online Reporter: Elizabeth Fay

 

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