Budget cuts are coming to Kern County. The Kern County Board of Supervisors decided late Tuesday afternoon to slash county department budgets in order to make up for Kern Medical Center's budget blunders.
Supervisors began to plug KMC's $64 million fiscal hole Tuesday afternoon.
"It's incumbant upon us that this never happen again," said Supervisor Mick Gleason.
To stop the bleeding, the county applied a $19 million bandaid to KMC's budget. The plan is a three pronged approach: take $6.5 million from savings, cut KMC by the same amount, and slash $6.5 million from all county departments.
"I am grateful that the other departments will help us endure this we will be successful. We will endure it and we will overcome it," said Chairman Mike Maggard.
County departments were cut two percent across the board.
"It's not fair that we have departments that are providing vital services and they have to cut their budgets because of the disaster at Kern Medical Center," said Supervisor Gleason.
The good news for taxpayers is, most departments say they can absorb the cuts with no impact to services. However for a few it could be costly.
A $40,000 cut to engineering will mean a reduction in sump maintenance which is needed to control mosquitos that carry West Nile Virus.
A nearly $1.6 milion cut to the Kern County Sheriff's Department will mean 13 vacant positions won't be filled.
Supervisors are hoping to shift some of the burden back to KMC, looking to perhaps go deeper than the $6.5 million cut proposed.
"I think the hospital needs to absorb a significant share of the shortfall," Supervisor Zach Scrivner.
It's a shortfall supervisors say they do not blame on all 1,400 KMC employees.
There is no word yet on if these cuts will continue next year.