A northeastern Kansas county is trimming its payroll with employee buyouts in hopes of meeting budget shortfalls and avoiding layoffs.
Johnson County is the most populous of the state's 105 counties. The Kansas City Star reports this is the first time the county has offered an early retirement program.
The buyout was offered to about 550 eligible employees, and 175 have accepted so far. Some of them may be replaced if their positions are deemed to be what the county manager calls "mission critical." But officials estimate the county would save nearly $6 million if two-thirds of the jobs remain unfilled.
Johnson County has eliminated more than 300 jobs through attrition since 2009. Officials say nearly 300 more reductions are needed to fund operations without a tax increase by 2014.