The Crawford County Quorum Court shot down an ordinance during its regular meeting Monday that would have raised the county millage.
Justices of the peace voted against an appropriation ordinance amending the ordinance levying 2017 county taxes that was approved during the quorum court meeting Nov. 20. It would have raised the Crawford County millage from 2.9 mills to 3.9 mills.
The ordinance states 75 percent of this one mill increase would have been dedicated for salaries, benefits and training for county employees. The remaining 25 percent, District 7 JP Mary Jan Blount said, would have gone into the county general budget.
The sponsor of the ordinance was District 10 JP Jayson Peppas. Peppas talked about the condition of employment at the county, and what it takes to train and retain employees. He said when the county loses employees, it starts all over, which costs more money.
“This year, the tax collector has lost one employee that I know of, the library’s lost one, the road department’s lost six, and the sheriff’s department lost their 23rd today, and this is all from the first of the year,” Peppas said. “Well, they’re all leaving to go somewhere to make a few more dollars, and to have a little bit more of a benefit, we understand that, but I don’t think they want to leave.”
During the discussion, District 12 JP Elaina Damante said she feels the money for employees could come from somewhere else. District JP 5 Raymond Harvey said he thought there are ways in which the county can save the money.
“If we can’t find it, I’ll be right there beside you pushing, I can promise you that, but I think, first, I owe it to myself and the individuals that helped elect me to dive into what we have,” Harvey said.