The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Local Politics

October 15, 2013

County Council supports 3 percent raise for employees

Council freshman Phillips says she has new respect for Congress

ANDERSON — Madison County workers will see their first pay raise since 2006 under a proposed budget for 2014 the County Council is expected to vote on by month's end.

County employees — many of whom make less than $30,000 per year — will receive a 3 percent wage increase next year under the proposed spending plan, said Council President John Bostic, D-District 3.

Madison County sheriff deputies also will receive raises, but are covered under a different collective bargaining agreement. The salaries of elected officials will remain unchanged, Bostic added.

"I'm glad that we were able to give county employees a raise," he said. "We have people who come to work that only make $25,000 or $27,000."

Bostic said he expects the final general fund budget for 2014 to come in between $32 million and $33 million.

County Auditor Jane Lyons said her staff is still calculating the final numbers, as well as the amount of property taxes that help pay for the majority of government operations.

"We had a lot of debate to get to where we are," said Bostic, referring to several days of budget hearings the County Council held earlier this month.

The proposed budget includes approximately $1.2 million in revenue from the newly reinstated wheel tax. That money will be combined with state road funding money approved by the Indiana General Assembly earlier this year, which Gov. Mike Pence signed into law as part of a two-year $30 billion budget agreement.

In order to achieve a balanced budget, the council required most county departments to eliminate funding for machinery and equipment, but said they could return with requests after the budget takes effect in January to make a case for those requests.

Rick Gardner, R-District 4, said he disagreed with that concept because it doesn't represent good budgeting practice. "There was some stuff that was cut they know they're going to have to come back for."

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