A dozen Sandoval County employees volunteered to be furloughed after being asked to do so in May. 

The voluntary furloughs are the only ones the county has implemented.

Four employees volunteered to be furloughed full-time and eight employees volunteered to be furloughed part-time, according to county documents.

County spokesman Stephen Montoya said furloughed employees will return to work depending on the needs of the specific departments they were furloughed from.

Positions of the furloughed employees included:

• A driver;

• Respite and senior caretakers;

• Volunteer services program assistant;

• Frail and elderly program assistant;

• Eligibility and Community Outreach workers; and

• Accounting specialist.

Sandoval County requested employees volunteer for furloughs, according to a press release sent May 5. The county had been considering all cost-saving measures with the fiscal impact of the pandemic, according to the press release.

“The fact is that not all jobs at the county permit working remotely, and as a result, the county must also safeguard taxpayer’s monies,” stated the press release.

According to a draft of the budget, the county predicts a reduction in the general fund by almost $5 million in the 2020-21 fiscal year, which began July 1, said Sandoval County Commission Chairman David Heil in the release. This reduction would be caused by a loss of taxable income and an increase of expenses to the county, Heil said.

“Considering this and all the unknowns related to the COVID situation, we may need every penny of our reserves to weather this situation,” he said.

The county commission is avoiding drastic budget cuts next fiscal year and looking at options to sustain compensation for non-essential employees while managing the current budget, according to the release.