Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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Putnam Budget Committee Decides On County Employee Raises

After considering two proposals, the Putnam County Budget Committee voted Thursday recommending a plan that increases emergency service worker salaries by $5,000.

All other county employees will receive a $3,000 salary increase. Committee Chair Ben Rodgers said he would like to give more, but it’s all the county can afford considering other requests.

“I feel like this commission has done a pretty good job with taking up the medical increase cost that we’ve done. We care about our employees,” Rodgers said. “We’ve made an effort to do that. Of course, we gave you the ARP bonuses, and we wanted to do that. But we are trying, and we will continue to try. It won’t stop here.”

The other proposal introduced by Commissioner Jonathan Williams would have increased emergency service workers pay by $8,000 annually and $3,000 for other employees.

“Everybody in the county needs a raise,” Williams said. “I could not agree with that more, but our emergency services have fallen way way behind. I think we really need to address them more.”

Both plans would have been funded through the same means, $2 million of reoccurring sales tax revenue from debt services and a one-time $2 million of excess sales tax revenue.

The main difference would be budget cuts. Rodgers’ plan needs to cut some $400,000 while Williams’ plan would have cut $1 million.

With step raises included, the recommended salary plan increases to $6,000 and $3,600. Rodgers said department heads will now readjust their budgets to account for the raises. Rodgers said then the committee can start looking at individual budgets to approve.

“The department heads will have to go back and implement that raise per employee into their budget, send it back to (Mayor) Randy Porter and Chelsea (Qualls Manager of Accounts and Budgets) so they can put it in the budget, and then we can start looking,” Rodgers said.

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