HEFLIN — All Cleburne County employees will receive a 25-cent per hour pay raise under the fiscal 2019 budget the county commission approved Monday night.
Commissioner Terry Hendrix was the only “no” vote on the $7 million budget, one of three versions the commission could vote on. The other two versions included a 50-cent per hour pay raise and another version had no pay raises at all.
After the meeting Hendrix said that the current budget is out of line.
“In the last six years we’ve had one budget that was balanced without going into reserve to balance the budget. We just need to do a lot of cutting,” Hendrix said.
Commissioner Emmett Owen was not pleased that the budget did not allocate more funding for roads and bridges.
“We keep talking about how we are going to do something for roads and bridges and I haven't seen anything in this budget that would make an effort to do that,” Owen said.
“I don’t know about y’all but every month — we don’t miss a month — we don’t get our butts chewed cause we’re not doing enough for roads and bridges,” Owen said.
“I just don’t see no effort. That’s all I’ve heard — we’re going to do something — we’re going to increase the budget, we’re going to increase pay; we’re not going to do anything for roads and bridges,” Owen said.
The county’s total estimated revenues and carryovers from 2018 is $10,095,019.15 and total estimated expenditures are $7,383,234.83 which leaves an estimated reserve of $2,711,784.32 at the end of the year.
After the meeting Commissioner Jake Durham said taking care of the county’s employees was a good thing.
“I’m glad that the employees in the county got a raise. I think that’s a step forward. I know it’s not a tangible object that we can go out and buy and cut grass with but I think it’s much more important,” Durham said.
The county’s chief finance administrator, Kim Brown, said the budget is about the same as last year’s with the exception of the increases in liability insurance for the various county departments. During the meeting Owen said that liability insurance has “doubled” due to lawsuits that the county is dealing with.