MOULTON — The Lawrence County Commission on Thursday approved a $14.3 million fiscal 2013 budget that County Administrator Peggy King said included level funding for all departments and a 2.5-percent raise for employees.
King said she would release a detailed budget with specific funding for different entities later, and that she needed to make changes to documents to reflect the budget the commission approved.
“We went through each line item, so we’ve got a pretty good feel of where we’ve moved money around,” Commissioner Prentis Davis said.
By law, the commission was required to approve a budget by Oct. 1. The commission can later amend the budget and add to any department.
King said the cost of the 2.5-percent raise is $95,810.56.
Before the commission unanimously approved the budget, King said the commission could have given employees a 5-percent raise, include all requested appropriations and have $234,645 left.
Commissioner Bobby Burch asked if the county could increase services, and said the road department’s equipment was “extremely outdated.”
“My only concern is raising salaries and not raising services,” he said. “They should be proportionate.”
County Engineer Mac Rushing said his department has lost five to eight employees over the years through attrition, and he would like to replace them.
Commissioner Mose Jones agreed that adding employees is important.
“If we get equipment out there and don’t have the employees to run it, it’s not going to run itself,” he said.
Burch said the commission should wait until spring to vote on adding employees, rather than in cooler weather when the department has fewer duties.
Jones said a 5-percent raise “might be a little much right now” and recommended the 2.5-percent raise.
King said she estimates $723,861 in additional revenue this fiscal year.
She said revenue from ad valorem taxes increased about $100,000 and revenue from motor vehicle taxes increased $313,000.
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