Sunday, June 26, 2022
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Fentress Seeing Healthy Budget In Preliminary Budget Discussions

Fentress County looking at a “healthy budget” for the next fiscal year.

That’s according to County Finance Director Tyler Arms. He said that this is one of the better budgets he’s seen in his years as director.

“The biggest thing that I’ve seen throughout all of our budgets is the increase in the local option sales tax here has just been phenomenal,” Arms said. “And I think a lot of rural counties have seen that. Probably counties like Davidson and Knox may have actually seen decreases, in that although I’m not sure. But your smaller counties are seeing big increases in your local option sales tax. And that’s huge when you’re budgeting.”

Arms said that preliminary budget talks have been discussing the operating lines for the departments. He said that in upcoming budget meetings, they plan to discuss employee pay.

Arms said that the county recently did a salary study in hopes of gaining more information for this year’s budget. He said that the salary study will be taken into consideration at the county’s next budget work session next Thursday.

“Hopefully, and not just for the sake of me or the finance office, but for the sake of a lot of our departments like solid waste, we’ve got people dropping like flies because our pay doesn’t compete with the private sector here right now, and I think a lot of people are seeing that,” Arms said. “As we go into next Thursday, hopefully, we’ve got some ideas to put on the table to be able to increase some incentive through their play and hopefully try to retain some employees.”

Arms said that retaining employees has been an issue for about two or three years now, which was a large reason for doing the salary study.

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