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County Budget and Finance discuss raises for Douglas county employees

By Jim Allen
The Budget and Finance Committee met on 0-15-21 with chair Don Munson and members Dick Hein and Phil Morris in attendance. Munson’s update on possible projects to be funded by the American Rescue Plan Act was brief. To date there is no solid information on how the funds may be used. However, Munson stated that he thought the county’s priorities for the funds should concentrate on water projects and ambulance service.

Part of the concern for water service is motivated by the closure of the Lyondell plant. Lyondell has its own water plant and provides water to Cabot Corp, its neighbor. As of August 2022, the agreement between Lyondell and Cabot will not be renewed and Cabot will have to find another source of water. It remains to be seen if ARPA funds could be used to assist in providing water to Cabot.

The county has received $1,900,000 in ARPA funds thus far and will receive another $1,900,000 in the first quarter of 2022. The county has three years to use the funds, so there is time to carefully consider the best use of the money.

The budget for fiscal year 2022 will be more accurately assessed after the County Board meeting on 10-21-21.  At his time, it appears that there will be an increase of approximately $600,000 in revenues over last year. New business and an increase in business sales is responsible for the good news. Consideration of an increase in employee pay will be considered by the committee. The Sheriff’s employees will be getting a 3 percent increase and the committee would like for other county employees to receive a similar increase.

Leaf it to Us submitted a proposal for landscaping in front of the County Annex. The proposal totals $2,364.70. If the Building and Grounds Committee advises that the work should be done, the Budget and Finance Committee will recommend to the full board that the work is completed.

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