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St. Martinville lays off multiple employees

Posted at 10:59 PM, Apr 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-15 11:59:51-04

We're now learning more about how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting local governments.

On Tuesday, April 14, the St. Martinville City Council voted to layoff 27 employees and furlough two others.

The difficult decision came during a teleconference. Mayor Melinda Mitchell said the majority of employees affected are part-time and the cuts were from several departments.

"It was a very, very tough decision. We want to do what's best though for the city financially," said Mitchell.

Councilman Mike Fuselier said, "A lot of part time personnel at the barn maintenance, some at the police department, some at city hall. It was all non-essential personnel at this point that does not have to come in. Every essential person is still working for the city."

Mayor Mitchell said the city is in an emergency and it's key to make sure they can keep the basic functions of government running. With many businesses closed, the city is losing out on tax dollars and nearly $40,000 from gaming.

"There's no video poker, sales tax is down, but a lot of people are still paying their electrical bills," Mitchell said. " We wholesale our electrical and that's some of our main revenue. People are still paying although we're not turning them off if they're not paying. We've been fortunate with that."

Mitchell and Fuselier hope these cuts are temporary and they will be able to hire everyone back.

"It's one thing that they're laid-off for a short period of time, but you don't want to lose valid, good employees," Mitchell said. "They've been with the city for so long. This is home, city, family. My goal is to get them all back if possible."

Fuselier said, "At this point though, it's just one day at a time."