GOSHEN – Orange County officials say they so far have cut almost $400,000 from the giant budget deficit they face by enticing employees to take furloughs and collect unemployment instead of their salaries for either one or two months.

As of Monday, the county had approved 69 of 77 temporary layoff applications that employees submitted after that cost-cutting policy was introduced last month. The bulk of those requests – 47 – were from county workers who agreed to be furloughed for both June and July. The rest were for just one of those months.

The county estimates it will save $389,391 by shifting those workers from its payroll to the unemployment rolls – a total that will grow if more workers volunteer for July furloughs before the June 15 deadline to make those requests. Officials so far have approved 13 requests to be laid off for July only.