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County workers could get raise

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GREENFIELD — County employees will likely get a raise in the form of an extra paycheck next year, though a few more cuts and tweaks were made to the 2015 budget Wednesday morning.

The Hancock County Council and Commissioners met in a workshop to make a few changes to budget requests. While most of the work was done in July, the meeting Wednesday was held to balance expected revenues against wish-list expenses.

The council agreed employees should get a one-time pay raise in the form of an extra paycheck. There will be 27 paychecks in 2015 as opposed to the typical 26; the council decided instead of a percentage raise, they would allow for an extra paycheck for employees totaling nearly $400,000. The one-time raise is the equivalent of 3.8 percent, said Ginny Martin, deputy auditor.

The council did, however, make a few changes in order to balance the local-option income tax fund that pays for public safety improvements.

About $116,000 had to be cut to meet the expected $1.9 million in revenue for the fund. The council decided to reduce its contribution to the sheriff’s department pension fund, and also use fees from serving warrants to contribute to the fund. Councilman Jim Shelby said that saved $69,000. The council also agreed to cut $30,000 from the county’s technology department to make up the difference. The county’s technology director had wanted to hire a part-time employee.

The county budget will be legally advertised later this month, and a public hearing is set for Sept. 10. Final adoption is slated for Oct. 8.

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