Council approves 5-percent raise for county employees
With state approval of local budgets not expected before March, some questions about the 2014 Putnam County budget will remain unanswered until spring.
One thing is clear about county finances in 2014. County employees will receive a 5-percent pay raise.
The county council voted unanimously in favor of the raises during its budget adoption meeting on Monday. It will be the first pay increase for county employees in five years.
Raises have been a topic of discussion throughout the budgeting process, even as councilmen tried to find ways to cut an original budget proposal that was $700,000 over levy.
In the end, the council settled on an increase of 5 percent that fits in with other budget decisions made at the Monday meeting. A higher increase had been discussed, but budget uncertainty had the council settling on the final figure.
"At budget time next year if there's something else we can do, we'll take care of them (the employees)," council president Darrel Thomas said.
"I don't think we should be embarrassed about 5 percent," councilman Phil Gick added.
The increase will affect all county employees except for the county commissioners and county council.