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Picente: 70 county employees could be laid off

By ANDREW DONOVAN & PAT BAILEY

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - 70 Oneida County employees could be laid off in 2011, according to Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente. The layoffs would come in an attempt to balance the 2011 county budget.

The layoffs would affect employees county-wide in all departments, said Picente.

Picente said he expects an additional 80 people will retire next year, and roughly 60 of those positions will not be filled. That means potentially 130 positions may be eliminated next year. The proposals are contingent on the County Legislature, who must approve the budget.

Department heads will be included in the process to determine which employees will be laid off, added Picente.

A projected amount of savings from the potential layoffs has not yet been determined. Picente says the proposed elimination of positions is in addition to his proposed wage freeze for all non-union county workers.

If the budget is passed with these proposals, the layoffs would go into effect on January 1. A tax increase is still expected for county residents even if these proposals were to take affect, Picente said.

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