Commissioners ponder pay increase

By Hank Lohmeyer

The Board of County Commissioners on Monday discussed a pay raise proposal for county elected officials that could amount to 30 percent. But the board has not approved any increase.

The General Assembly has approved a 30 percent pay hike for county elected officials, and pay increases for state officials as well, but other options allow for a 10 percent or a 20 percent raise, county staff explained.

The commissioners want to get more information about the plans before making a final decision.

In other business at its Nov. 15 regular meeting:

• The board approved purchase of a Caterpillar four-yard loader for the District 1 Road and Bridge Department at a price of $230,469. The county had budgeted $242,000 for the purchase.

• At a budget meeting on Monday, commissioners heard a report from staff that 2017 revenues will be cut by $500,000 due to loss of personal property tax and production tax revenues from the Bowie layoff.

• Staff reported that the West Elk Mine operations will not be impacted by Arch Coal's rescheduling of its debt.

• Commissioners awarded a contract to Blair and Associates for an annual audit to cost $29,500.

• The county will cover increased health insurance premium costs for employees next year equivalent to a 3 percent pay increase, said Robbie LeValley, county administrator. County workers will also get a 1 percent cost of living increase across the board next year.