FARMINGTON —  Franklin County commissioners voted Tuesday to set the newly elected register of probate’s salary at $37,000 and contribute $13,000 for a health plan premium.

Heidi Jordan, Franklin County register of probate-elect. Sun Journal file photo

The salary will be in effect for two years and then will be reviewed, Commission Chairman Terry Brann said.

Heidi Jordan, who was elected Nov. 3, will start a four-year term on Jan. 1, 2021. She will replace retiring Register of Probate Joyce Morton.

In other business, commissioners voted to close the courthouse Dec. 24 and have it open only until noon Dec. 31. Nonunion, nonemergency staff will also have the day off.

Initially, commissioners agreed to close the courthouse and District Attorney’s Office on Christmas Eve day and have employees working a full day New Year’s Eve. After learning what the state court system plans for holiday hours before the end of the meeting, they changed their minds to align with the state. The courthouse has been closed to the public since mid-November because of COVID-19.

Commissioners also approved the Sheriff’s Office buying two new Interceptor SUVs from Hight Chevrolet in Farmington and trading in two older cruisers as part of the deal.

The new cruisers cost $33,155 each, but after factoring in the trade-in value, the total cost is $56,539, Chief Deputy Steven Lowell told commissioners.

One of the cruisers will be paid out of the current 2020-21 unorganized territory budget. The second cruiser will be paid for using mileage reimbursement funds from the federal Operation Stonegarden program.

Operation Stonegarden provides funding to enhance cooperation and coordination among state, local, tribal, territorial and federal law enforcement agencies to jointly enhance security along the United States land and water borders.

Franklin County commissioners also approved a nearly $1.4 million, unorganized territory budget for 2021-22. The action followed a public hearing on the proposal.

The spending proposal represents a $44,140 increase to the current $1.35 million budget. After anticipated revenues are factored in, the tax assessment is estimated to be nearly $1.18 million, according to county Clerk Julie Magoon.

The budget goes to the state, then to the state Legislature for review and approval. If approved, it will go into effect on July 1, 2021.

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