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September 26, 2012

Commission approves raises for county employees

CULLMAN — Beginning in November, county employees can expect to see an increase on their paycheck.

On Tuesday, the Cullman County Commission approved a $46,488,955 budget for the 2013 fiscal year, which includes a 3 percent pay raise for all employees. It’s a move commission Chairman James Graves feels has been needed, but noted he and county administrator Gary Teichmiller looked the budget over closely before pitching it to commissioners Darrell Hicks and Stanley Yarbrough for approval.

“We have not had a pay increase since 2008 because of the scarcity of funds in the county,” Graves said. “The two biggies being sales tax, which is the biggest source of revenue, and property taxes for having to lower them, along with the other miscellaneous ones out there. It was down a tremendous amount, and slowly over the past few years now it’s worked itself back up again.”

With the number of employees, Graves said it would run the county roughly $600,000 a year.

“It’s not a small amount under any circumstance, but once you approve it and it becomes included, that’s $600,000 a year in addition you have to have every year for that pay raise. Gary went through and assured us this would be possible.”

In addition, Teichmiller recommended the county stay with a 5 percent contribution to the state retirement system rather than increasing to the recommended 7.5 percent.

“We approved that again, and we’re saving the retirees and employees a tremendous amount of money,” Graves said.

In other action, the commission:

* approved the change order for the courthouse renovations.

* approved guidelines for acceptance of roads into Cullman Maintenance System.

* approved guidelines for having gravel county roads paved.

* adopted the following policies and procedures for Cullman County effective Oct. 1:

    *drug and alcohol testing policy

    * return to work/modified duty policy

    * seat belt policy

    * usage of wireless communications devices while driving policy

* authorized Cullman County Sheriff Mike Rainey to erect a building on the vacant lot located between the Sheriff’s Office and CARTS.

* authorized the Chairman to sign a contract with the Department of Youth Services for long term detention at Tennessee Valley Detention Youth Service.

* authorized the Chairman and EMA Director to contract with Helms Associates for Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) revisions.

* considered a $1,000 donation to the Veteran’s Day Ceremony.

* approved the appointment of Lori Beckhart to the E-911 board replacing Claude Buckelew for a four year term to expire Set. 1, 2016.

* considered a surplus of miscellaneous computer equipment, printers, and copiers from various departments.

* approved to support the Nov. 6 vote dealing with Section 16 land.

* renewed the Catastrophic Stop Loss Health Insurance with HCC.

* authorized the signing of the Employee and Dependent Life covered by Mutual of Omaha.

* ratified the following personnel actions:

New Hires:

* Angela D. Tankersley — full time to Revenue office.

* Jenny W. Benson — part time to OHV Park.

* Josie Vines — full time to Sheriff’s Department.

* Courtney Hulgan — full time to Sheriff’s Department.

* Jed Thomas (rehire) — full time to Sheriff’s Department.

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