The Indiana Department of Local Government Finance estimated that the $16.8 million 2008 budget total will meet this year s revenue, Council President Mitchell Proctor said
But, fearing shortfalls in the expected revenue, the council members managed to trim about $100,000 worth of expenses.
The positive budget outlook comes from years of buckling down and trimming employees and other expenses as well as increased revenue from improving economic conditions, Proctor said.
We re where we are now because we spent a lot of time wringing the excess out of county government, he said.
Also for the first time in a couple of years, all county employees are getting raises.
The council voted 6-1 to raise each full time employee s salary by $1,200. This averages out to about four percent across the board. The average salary for full time county employees is about $28,000
Council member Larry Parker suggested that the raise should be even greater to account for previous years when employees received no salary increase, but after discussion, the council stayed firm at the $1,200 figure.
The council originally discussed forgoing a raise for itself, as it had in years past. However, when County Attorney Liz South and Auditor Stephanie Campbell pointed out that Putnam County Council members were among the lowest paid in the state, they voted to increase their $4,800 annual salaries by $600.
Council members finished their deliberations Wednesday afternoon after two days of public hearings and debate from each county department head.
Putnam County s budget will now go to the state for review. If the figures match expected revenue, the state will give its approval and the council will formally vote to adopt the budget at its September meeting.