Third of Elkhart Co Highway Department drivers laid off - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Employees shocked after Elkhart County Highway Department lay-offs

Posted:

Ten employees from the Elkhart County Highway Department were laid off Friday morning. With there being 33 drivers total, the county let go of nearly one third of their driving crew.

Jessica Miller, a driver for the county, was one of those laid off. She says, "They started naming them off, and I was probably like 4th or 5th and I was like, 'Huh? I wouldn't be getting let go!'" Miller says it was confirmed when she walked into the county garage with nine of her coworkers. "There were three cops waiting in there [along with] the foreman. [I was] just trying to process everything. I was in shock," she says.

"Last year, we began taking a harder look at really reorganizing, restructuring," says Elkhart County Commissioner Mike Yoder. He confirmed the layoffs and says they had no choice because they were receiving less money from the state. County Administrator Tom Byers says the highway department has been receiving less money from the state for the past four to five years.

Yoder says they are retasking and restructuring their entire department so that highway workers aren't single-tasking. "We've reduced the staff in the garage. We have fewer mechanics because we're outsourcing some of that work," he says. Current employees will be trained to perform the tasks the laid-off employees were doing.

He says during the harsh winter, the highway department hired outside snow plow companies to experiment how it would effect the budget. Yoder says now, with budget problems and the recent layoffs, they are looking at what companies to hire during the winter months.

County drivers say they have had to pick up the slack for those outside companies. Miller recalls having to go replow County Road 33, "It was embarrassing to go over there and plow that again. I had drivers and semi drivers looking at me shaking their head. I was embarrassed to be a driver," she says.

Yoder says the Highway Department is continuing to look at what works and what doesn't. He says employees who can do more than just drive were the ones who were spared. He says, "It all goes to being a more efficient department and using our tax dollars more efficiently."

We called Highway Manager Jeff Taylor to determine the amount of money these layoffs will save the County, but he did not return our calls.  Yoder says they will be finding out how much the layoffs will save in the next few weeks.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • High School Students Make World War II Documentary

    High School Students Make World War II Documentary

    The Marshall County Historical Society Museum had an interesting idea. They asked local high school students to make a documentary for their updated military room. The museum wanted to have something special people could watch in the room. They know a lot of veterans are in the area and wanted to get their stories on file, so the museum asked local high schools students to make it happen. Students interviewed over 40 veterans from World War two this afternoon. Social Studies Facilitator Je...More >>
    The Marshall County Historical Society Museum had an interesting idea. They asked local high school students to make a documentary for their updated military room. The museum wanted to have something special people could watch in the room. They know a lot of veterans are in the area and wanted to get their stories on file, so the museum asked local high schools students to make it happen. Students interviewed over 40 veterans from World War two this afternoon. Social Studies Facilitator Je...More >>
  • Thomas Stevens files motion to suppress evidence, accuses police of wrongly entering home after violent altercation

    Thomas Stevens files motion to suppress evidence, accuses police of wrongly entering home after violent altercation

    Metro Homicide investigators at the scene of Stevens' home in MarchMetro Homicide investigators at the scene of Stevens' home in March
    The defense for Thomas Stevens filed a motion to suppress evidence Wednesday, alleging that South Bend Police wrongly searched his home in March after a violent altercation that left Stevens hospitalized. Stevens faces seven different charges after being arrested on the night of March 25.More >>
    The defense for Thomas Stevens filed a motion to suppress evidence Wednesday, alleging that South Bend Police wrongly searched his home in March after a violent altercation that left Stevens hospitalized. Stevens faces seven different charges after being arrested on the night of March 25.
    More >>
  • Newly formed Memorial Hospital Police Department has officers sworn in

    Newly formed Memorial Hospital Police Department has officers sworn in

    There's a new group of police officers in South Bend. On Thursday afternoon, the Memorial Hospital Police Department welcomed eight officers to the newly formed force.More >>
    There's a new group of police officers in South Bend. On Thursday afternoon, the Memorial Hospital Police Department welcomed eight officers to the newly formed force.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow

Fox 28

WSJV-TV FOX 28
58096 County Road 7, South
Elkhart, IN 46517

Switchboard: 574.679.9758
News Phone: 574.679.4545
Station Fax: 574.294.1267
Email: fox28news@fox28.com

All content ©Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSJV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Heather Stewart at (574) 343-5310. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.