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Cabarrus lays off 65, cuts hours for parks and libraries

Cabarrus County is laying off 65 employees and won't fill 11 vacant positions to help offset an expected $6.2 million budget shortfall next fiscal year. The layoffs represent nearly 7 percent of the county's 946 employees. In addition, the hours of operation at the county's parks and libraries are being reduced. For example, all libraries will close at 7 p.m. and some will not open on Fridays and/or Saturdays. County spokeswoman Aimee Hawkins says the cuts are across-the-board. "Every department in the county except for EMS and the Sheriff's Office has been affected by this. Every department is having to tighten their belts and their folks are taking on more work to continue their services to the community." After the cuts, the county still faces a projected shortfall of $3.8 million. Hawkins says the county will likely delay construction of a planned remote government building and a new park to narrow the gap. She says staff furloughs are also possible.