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County continues budget talks

The Pike County Commission continued discussions Monday on a budget for the upcoming fiscal year, focusing particularly on addressing raises for county employees.

In the immediate past, the county has given step-raises to employees equally across the board, resulting in employees in the same position making the same wages regardless of experience.

Now the commission is considering returning to the county’s previous practice of providing “anniversary” step-raises that will ensure employees are rewarded for the experience they have in the system.

The commission asked county administrator McKenzie Wilson to bring the commission an estimate on a cost to hold another study on the payroll increases and the long-term effects on the county budget.

“We were originally going to do this as part of the jail feasibility study, but we got a rebate because (TCU Consulting Services) was not able to fully complete it,” said Commissioner Russell Johnson, District 6. “So this is something we’ve already got an idea of how much it would cost.”

The commissioners also discussed new additions to the appropriations, including RSVP and the Cancer Wellness Center. The commissioners suggested bringing representatives in from the organizations to give a better idea of where the money would go.

Wilson said this budget is “probably the best I’ve seen that we can move forward from since I’ve been with the county.”

The county has until the end of September to pass a budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

In other business, the commission:

• Approved to advertise for the position vacated by former assistant engineer John Bergschneider.