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Supervisors Weigh Salary Increases In Tuesday Meeting

Tough Decisions – Supervisors (from right) M.H. “Butch” Surrette, Frank “Bubba” Tillman and Amos Sims hash out budget details during a recessed meeting Tuesday. – Photo by Jack Gurner

By David Howell

WATER VALLEY – Cutting and scratching was how one supervisor defined an intense budget meeting that consumed much of the day Tuesday on the third floor of the Water Valley Courthouse.

    The sticking point was maintaining the current millage rate, while giving county employees a raise and funding other budget increases. Outside of employee raises, the price of fuel and utility costs accounted for much of the budget increases that will be reflected in the 2008-2009 fiscal year budget, which begins October 1.

    By lunch Tuesday, supervisors had done enough cutting and scratching, as Supervisor Bubba Tillman described, to have a $17,483 surplus – compared to the current year budget –  in the general fund before funding employee raises.

    The cost of providing the $100 monthly raise for county employees was estimated to cost the county $44,464. That amount will be offset after both school districts asked for less millage in the coming fiscal year.

    “Men, we have got to take a tough stand here, and do what we can do, grit our teeth and wrap this thing up,” Supervisor Amos Sims said after the meeting stalled Tuesday afternoon, with the salary increases on the table.

    As Sims polled the board, supervisors unanimously agreed to only give the $100 monthly raise, effectively nixing several department requests for more money for individual employees.    

    Check next week’s Herald for more details about the budget discussion.

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