Budget Costs Have Many Feeling the Pinch

February 6, 2010

Pueblo County workers and parents, students and staff of Pueblo’s School District 70 are feeling the bite of the recession.

Pueblo County is simply short of money. As a belt tightening matter, Commissioner Anthony Nunez has suggested that the counties employees take a furlough one day a month to save the county some money. Union members from the AFSCME (American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Union), packed the council meeting room on February 2nd at the Pueblo West Metro District vowing to fight the idea.

Sharon Bonner, the director of the Counties Business Office and President of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Union, told council members on Tuesday that “We’ve decided to form a citizens commission to explore alternative ways to save money.”

Pueblo County School District 70 is also feeling the pinch with an expected shortfall of roughly $5 million of money from the district budget. In on-going discussions the board has proposed all kinds of ideas. Closing or consolidating schools, cutting out or outsourcing transportation, going to a 4 day school week, wage freezes and even outsourcing janitorial services have been discussed. At this time nothing has been decided upon.