WAHOO – The Saunders County Board of Supervisors approved 2019-2020 wage increases for county personnel during the Aug. 20 meeting.

The board set the salary for deputies in the offices of county assessor, county treasurer and clerk of the district court at 75 percent of their officials’ salaries and gave a 3 percent increase for the second deputy for the county attorney, the deputy public defender and the chief sheriff’s deputy.

The motion also included allowing the administrative assistant to the county clerk, administrative assistant to the county sheriff and correction lieutenant, whose wages are between wage grid positions, to move up to the grid above their current wage.

The board also approved a 1.3 percent wage increase for all employees classified as non-bargaining that have reached the top grid for their job classification, as well as allowing all non-bargaining employees that are allowed to move on their job classification grid line to move up to the next grid.

The Public Works director’s salary will increase 3 percent and director’s engineering aide’s wages will go up 1.3 percent, according to the board’s motion. The board also set the salary for the maintenance engineer/tech at $23 per hour and increased the IT administrator’s annual gross wage to $76,500 and the board’s budget assistant/office manager of zoning to $44,000.

The board also corrected action taken on July 16 regarding cost of living (COLA) increases for bargaining union employees to set the COLA increase to 1.3 percent, retroactive to July 1, 2019. The previous action taken included a 1.2 percent increase.

After the meeting, Supervisor Dave Lutton of Ashland said the approved wage increases will result in either a higher tax levy or cuts to the county’s budget.

Lutton said the board is contemplating cuts in the county roads department budget and technology equipment.

“Roads and technology are the two areas we will possibly look at for reductions,” Lutton said.

Lutton said the supervisors have dipped into the county inheritance fund to help with expenses in previous years, but the inheritance fund did not grow as much as it normally does this year, so they won’t use it unless it’s absolutely necessary. The intention is to let the fund grow another year, he added.

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