Crawford County employees can expect to receive extra money in light of the upcoming holidays.
The Crawford County Budget Committee made a decision to give employees who have worked five years or more $250, and those who have worked under five years $125 in longevity pay.
In the quorum court meeting that followed after the budget committee met on Monday, the justices of the peace approved this longevity pay as part of an ordinance to appropriate additional funds and approve additional expenditures to the 2017 budget.
The committee approved longevity pay for all county employees. Mary Jan Blount, District 7 justice of the peace and budget committee chairman, gave the committee options for how much the employees could receive, as well as the cost of each option.
Before making a decision, other options were considered. One of these options was to give every county employee $125. The cost of this to the county general fund would have been more than $17,000. Another option would have been to give every county employee $250, which would have cost over $34,000 from the county general fund.
Blount also provided other options that were tied to how long employees had been working for the county. One of these options was that those who had been county employees less than five years would receive $125 while those who had worked for the county five years or more would receive $250. This would cost the county an amount exceeding $25,000. Yet another possibility would have been to give employees of less than five years $250 while giving those who have worked five years or more $500. The cost of this would have been over $50,000 from the county general fund.
“Our employees are our most valuable asset,” Blount said. “We know that. We couldn’t operate this county without our employees. I feel like we need to do something. I know we would all like to give the very most we can, but we also have to be very aware of our budget, so I’m just putting those figures out there.”
Also, the county will be setting aside money to buy election equipment.
Upon the recommendation of the budget committee, the quorum court approved a request from the election commission to appropriate $75,000 from the county general fund to a county general reserve fund.
In a letter that was included in the meeting packet, Election Commissioner Bill Taylor said the requested funds would be used for purchasing election equipment in the future.
Bill Coleman, the chairman of the election commission, was present at the meeting to answer questions from the budget committee.
“In an earlier court meeting, I shared the information from the secretary of state’s office that they had calculated the cost of what it would cost to get new election equipment for Crawford County, something over $800,000,” Coleman said. “And what we would like to do is start a reserve fund, putting money back for that, and it’ll be something we’ll need to build on each year to get money set aside to help in the purchase of that. Our best wish is that the state would come through and fund all the equipment. At this time, it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen.”
Coleman said the equipment the election commission has is getting to be several years old.