BOONE COUNTY, W.Va. — Ten people will be laid off from public offices in Boone County as the area continues to deal with a decline in coal severance tax collections.

Elected officials proposed new budgets on Tuesday, with each budget having a 20% pay cut. Five employees of the Boone County Sheriff’s Office were cut, as were two people from the county clerk’s office, one person from the prosecutor’s office and two people from the county commission.

The layoffs will go into effect on Sept. 15.

Boone County Commission President Eddie Hendricks said the cuts mostly affected employment.

“You find out when you’re in a school system or county government that most of your money is payroll,” he said. “In order to cut 20%, you pretty much have to get into the payroll.”

Hendricks said the people “won’t come off the books for three months,” noting insurance coverage.

He added the cuts were especially difficult given the county’s small population.

“You know all these people. There are no strangers in the courthouse really,” he said. “I sympathize with the elected officials because they worked with those people in small areas for years, and it’s hard to tell somebody that you’re laying them off.”

The commission in April ordered an 8% budget cut.

Commissioners will learn at its Sept. 17 meeting of any further possible cuts are needed.

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