Whether the county can afford to give employee raises and where that money should come from was the main topic of interest when Barrow County leaders met to discuss a proposed total annual budget of $66.1 million for FY2015 last week.
The Aug. 21 meeting was the first of a series of budget workshops the board of commissioners will meet on before its slated adoption of the budget on Sept. 23.
At last Thursday’s meeting, county manager Randall Dowling presented a comprehensive 275-page document he said was prepared with the following criteria: no millage rate increase or decrease for this year, no new employee positions, no new vehicles or replacement vehicles, and no salary increases, however if there is a surplus at the end of this fiscal year in November or December, he said his recommendation to the board would be to “give it out as raises in some form or fashion.”
The $66.1 annual budget proposal includes general fund expenditures of $36.1 million; special revenue fund expenditures of $8.8 million; capital project fund expenditures of $19 million; enterprise fund expenditures of $8.9 million and approximately $6.8 million in inter-fund transfers.
Dowling further added that a 1 percent raise for all county employees across the board would cost the county $168,000 and a 5 percent raise for all county employees across the board would cost the county $838,999. District 1 Commissioner Joe Goodman asked how a salary increase from a budget surplus could be offered and at the same time be sustainable.
“I don’t see how you could push that towards a salary, because eventually there won’t be a surplus,” he said.
See the Aug. 27 edition of the Barrow Journal for the complete story.