Tuesday, March 5, 2013 | 9:40 p.m.
Henderson’s quest to escape its budget deficit has continued with the announcement that another round of employee buyouts is on the way.
The city is investing about $5 million into its Voluntary Employee Separation Program (VESP) in hopes the cuts in employee salaries will save another $4 million annually.
“With this expenditure we think we can balance the budget, if not, get very close,” Fred Horvath, the city's human resources director, told the Henderson City Council at its meeting Tuesday night.
The program started up in 2009 and has saved Henderson $50 million and reduced the government workforce by 318, Horvath said. The latest round of buyouts is expected to spare the city budget about $900,000 every two weeks, and delete about 100 employees from the payroll.
Horvath said the city will carry about a $4.5 million deficit in the 2013 fiscal year. The 30-day window for the buyout will begin on June 22, and the savings will be reflected in fiscal year 2014.
This step is the latest in a series of successful buyouts orchestrated by the city. About 70 percent of the vacancies created by VESP have remained unfilled, allowing Henderson to maximize its investment in the program.
“It would be pure folly, as we’ve said since 2009, to expend resources (on VESP) and then fill vacancies,” Horvath said.