Housing slump prompts Town of Truckee layoffs | SierraSun.com

Housing slump prompts Town of Truckee layoffs

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

The Truckee Town Council Thursday approved cost-cutting measures for the financially troubled building department ” including the layoff of two employees.

While staffing costs grew along with the building boom over the last six years, a significant construction drop over the last year has put the normally self-sufficient department nearly $1 million into the red.

With a budget set at $2.1 million at the beginning of the fiscal year and current estimated revenues of $1.2 million, the department requires more drastic measures than the originally planned $500,000 loan from the town’s general fund, said Town Manager Tony Lashbrook.

“In my book that’s a financial crisis,” Lashbrook said. “This is the first time the town has ever faced this issue.”

Cost-trimming measures include leaving a building inspector position vacant, transferring a public service technician to the police department, laying off a building inspector and a plans examiner, using building personnel for snow removal work and parking district duties, and implementing a 90 percent work week for other employees, Lashbrook said.

“The first layoff looks like an early retirement, which is something of a win-win, but the next one unfortunately is not,” Lashbrook said.

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The town’s policy is to rehire the laid-off employees if refilling the positions within a year, and the town also will look to the discharged employees for other openings, he said.

The combined cost-cutting measures should add up to $485,000 annually, $341,200 this year, Lashbrook said.