Franklin County commissioners propose no raises

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FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners recommended no raises for all nonunion employees during a review of department budget requests Wednesday.

The freeze on wages eliminates a proposed 2 percent increase. 

After a two-day review of budget requests, commissioners recommended a proposed budget of $3.61 million. The amount factors in revenues and $100,000 from undesignated funds to help reduce taxes, Finance Manager Vickie Braley said Thursday.  

Commissioners recommended a $2 million budget for the Franklin County Detention Center.  

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The proposed jail budget is $100,000 over the state-mandated 3 percent cap, Braley said.

Commissioners reduced a $70,000 request in the budget for overtime to $45,000 after a clerical mistake was found that indicated more overtime expense this year. An employee’s regular hours were listed as overtime and overtime listed as regular hours, she said.

The error boosted the overtime costs to $52,000 for the first three quarters of fiscal year 2017. A total of $56,000 for 2017 was budgeted.

Overtime is still an issue as full-time union corrections officers must be offered overtime before part-time employees. This makes the costs higher because of their wages, she said.

Commissioners recommended a budget of $1.6 million for the Sheriff’s Office after making a couple of changes.

Commissioners agreed to reduce a $120,000 request for motor vehicles for the department to $90,000.  The amount is enough to buy three new vehicles. They agreed to discuss a fourth vehicle later. 

Sheriff Scott Nichols Sr. requested the $120,000 to buy four new vehicles as was previously done. With a fleet of 15 vehicles and two spares, half the vehicles have over 100,000 miles on them, Nichols said.

To cover maintenance costs on the vehicles, the sheriff asked for $31,000 for equipment and services. Commissioners reduced the amount to recommend $20,000.

As with other departments, commissioners proposed a wage freeze for all nonunion employees, including the sheriff, chief deputy, two lieutenants and a secretary.

In an effort to reduce the county budget, commissioners awarded $61,200 in program grants, down $148,130 from the $209,330 requested.

SeniorsPlus requested $30,000, but commissioners reduced the amount to $10,000. Franklin County Soil & Water requested $25,000. Commissioners recommended $20,000.

The Budget Committee will next meet to review the requests and presentations and the commissioners’ recommendations and to prepare a budget for public review.

abryant@sunmediagroup.net

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