All workers in 2 Tooele County departments laid off due to budget cuts

Published: Wednesday, March 6 2013 12:44 p.m. MST

TOOELE — Twenty-three people who work with Tooele County's parks and recreation, and maintenance departments were laid off Tuesday.

County administrators said the new round of layoffs was needed because of the mandatory budget cuts in federal government money they were expecting to receive.

County layoffs began in August, when 22 county employees were let go. Another 22 were laid off in November. 

"I have four kids. This is my livelihood,” said Scott Chance, fighting back tears. “It pays my health insurance. It gives me my house.”

Chance has spent the past 12 years working at Deseret Peak. Tuesday, he learned that March 9 will be his last day on the job.

"It's gut-wrenching," he said.

Deseret Peak has been a destination for recreation and entertainment for years. The complex includes everything from swimming pools and soccer fields to museums and miniature golf.

Every year, more than 50,000 people use the complex. Tooele County resident Valerie Catten has been riding horses there with her children since they were young. She was also saddened by the news.

"It will hurt us. As far as indoor facilities, there aren't a lot of them," she said. "It's extremely disappointing."

Tooele County spokesman Wade Matthews said almost all services will be cut.

"Only activities that won't cost the county any money will be conducted right now," he  said.

Remaining activities will be run by temporary or part-time workers. Laid-off employees will receive two weeks' severance pay and have been asked to apply for temporary services.

"They told me I can have a temporary job working for a staffing agency for about nine or 10 bucks an hour, and no benefits," Chance said.

While he's already looking for permanent employment, Chance said he plans to continue his work at the complex until his shift ends this weekend.

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