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Polk County clerk forced to make layoffs and furloughs due to COVID-19 financial strain

The county announced in a news release that the impact of COVID-19 is to blame.

BARTOW, Fla. — The Polk County Clerk of the Circuit Court & Comptroller announced on Friday it is being forced to layoff and furlough employees because of COVID-19.

“I deeply regret that I had to take these actions,” Polk County Clerk Stacy Butterfield, said. “While courthouses may have closed due to COVID-19, the majority of our operations have continued. Our team members have worked so hard in the face of many challenges, and it is gut-wrenching to now be at this point.”

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the office has made significant changes to operations to attempt to reduce costs. But, with the lack of finances coming in through fines, fees, service charges, and court costs caused restrictions.

To address this shortfall the clerk's office is laying off 20 people, implementing furloughs for more than 200 employees, temporarily assigning others to different county offices, freezing and eliminating 21 positions, limiting hours of operation, and cutting all costs possible.

“I want those who rely on our services to understand the major dilemma we face. I deeply regret that, due to pandemic mitigation efforts statewide and the way our operations are funded, we must resort to extreme cost-reducing measures that will impact county residents," Butterfield said.

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