County seeking raise for coroner

Published 9:44 pm Monday, June 22, 2009

It’s not something that will move quickly, but the Pike County Commission has begun working to compensate its county coroner, who has actually been spending money to perform his job.

With a $400 annual salary, plus $200 per month for expenses, Pike County Coroner Jerry Williams came before the commission Monday requesting they support local legislation to increase his pay.

Williams has served as coroner for the last 24 years, and it’s something he said he is glad to do for the county. But, in the last years, especially, the job has become more demanding and expenses have grown, while the salary has not changed any.

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“I view this particular job as a service, and I just never came forward to have the salary changed,” Williams said.

The commission has agreed to begin drafting a resolution in hopes of having his salary changed in the next legislative session, but until then, there is little it can do to assist Williams.

County Administrator Harry Sanders said the commission does not have local authority to either increase or decrease the coroner pay, since he is an elected official.

The commission told Sanders and County Attorney Allen Jones to begin drafting a resolution to send to local legislators to be passed.

Once they complete the draft, it will have to undergo approval by the commission.

While the commission wasn’t able to change Williams’ salary, they did have the authority to increase his expenses from $200 to $250 per month.

In addition, commissioners are looking to see if the county can pay Williams’ health insurance, as it does for all other elected officials.

By the next meeting, they hope to have an answer.

Also in the meeting Monday, County Engineer Russell Oliver said the broken bridge on County Road 7708 is one step closer to construction.

The Pike County Road Department has received the OK on construction plans from the Alabama Department of Transportation.

Oliver said the department has started advertising bids for construction, and by the end of the week, the company will be awarded the project.

Oliver said he hopes construction will begin two weeks after that, though it will not put the bridge in use until after the China Grove July 4 Parade.

The commission also announced that it had been funded a $31,000 law enforcement grant, along with the city of Troy, which will be used for the drug task force.

The next commission meeting will be held July 13, and before it the commission will hold its first budget hearing of the year at 3 p.m. The meeting will begin after that.