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Coroner salary bill passes Senate

A bill that will allow the Pike County Commission to raise the salary of the County Coroner was passed through the State Senate Thursday.

Now the bill only awaits governor approval to be written into law.

“This is an initiative that the commission wanted to move forward,” said County Administrator Harry Sanders. “We’re glad that Sen.(Wendell) Mitchell and Rep. (Alan) Boothe were able to get it done.”

The legislation is the first major step in providing additional compensation to the County Coroner Jerry Williams, who is currently paid an annual salary of $400 plus $3000 per year for expenses, for a service that he says requires an average time commitment of 60 to 85 hours per month.

“Regarding the expense part of the salary, that’s something the commission will address sooner than later,” Sanders said.

Williams said the commission can increase the amount allotted for expenses now, but any salary increase will have to wait until the official beginning of the next office term in January.

“I appreciate the County Commission and the County Attorney. They’ve worked very hard,” Williams said. “And of course I appreciate Sen. Mitchell and Rep. Boothe. They’ve kept me in the loop the whole time.”

Williams is the only coroner for the county and he is on call 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

He said that several changes have happened recently such as new regulations, new reporting procedures and new requirements for training that have greatly added to the expense sheet of the office.

“I think it’s time this issue was addressed,” he said. “I think it will help serve the county in the future.