Friday, July 19, 2024
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Putnam Budget Passes With Cost Of Living Raise

The Putnam County Commission Budget Committee approved all proposed budgets with no changes Monday night.

The final budget will include $1,000 cost of living increases for all full time county employees. That is in addition to the step raises included in the pay plan adopted last year. Mayor Randy Porter said the flat rate increase keeps that pay plan in tact.

“As far back as I can remember right now, have done the flat rate per employee,” Porter said. “And the basis for that was this is costing that $30,000 employee about as much to live as it is the $50,000 employer or the other. They’re paying the same for gasoline and food. I would recommend that we don’t get into the percentage raises. If we do, you’re going to really…every person won’t match on the pay scale. They’ll be different. I’d recommend if you’re going to do something on cost of living, you do across the board. Flat rate is better.”

When the pay increases, the county will need to spend about $5.2 million of its fund balance to cover expenses. That number compares with $7 million going into the last fiscal year. Instead, the county will add about $4 million to its fund balance.

Part time employees will receive a 50-cent per hour cost-of-living adjustment.

The new budget includes eight new full time employees and two new part time workers. The property tax will remain the same.

“Congratulations, I appreciate your hard work,” Budget Chair Ben Rodgers said. “Thank you for your time. Department heads, elected officials, employees, thanks for being here and your input. We do appreciate you. I hope you see our efforts here.”

When the ’24-’25 budget year ends, the county should have roughly $24 million in fund balance, according to estimates shared with the budget committee.

The budget will be approved by County Commissioners July 29.