Yukon announces layoffs as budget hole grows

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YUKON, Okla. - City employees may not get their paychecks at the end of the month.

Yukon officials aren't sure they have enough money to make payroll, as the city stares down a $4 million hole.

"When you spend more than what comes in, eventually you run out of money, and that's where we're at at the present time," said City Manager Jim Crosby.

If the city can't come up with the money for its third pay period of the month, it may have to borrow, officials said.

The remedy, Crosby said, is a combination of cuts, layoffs and fiscal responsibility.

Ten or 15 people will be shed from the city payroll, though Crosby hopes some will retire.

Yukon officials do not know who will be cut or when the decision will be made.

Officials also said they don't know where the city will trim the fat, but it intends to minimize the pain to its citizens.

"We always hate to have anyone lose their job, especially this time when times are tough all over the state and there's a lot of people being unemployed," said Crosby. "I want them to be reassured that we're going to operate in the black in the future and we will make sure this won't happen again."

Last month, the Yukon City Council admitted it had misappropriated $1.3 million, using money to pay salaries and bills instead of making capital improvements.

The city then used its reserve funds to fill the hole.

But, Crosby said the city would have faced some sort of budget deficit regardless.

"It's hard to put the blame on anything except somewhere along the line, the city was allowed over the last four years to spend more money than it brought in," he said. "And, whoever is responsible for that is the person who's responsible for this situation."

Crosby plans to replenish the reserve funds over four years by passing budgets with surpluses.

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