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Council gives OK for review of county salaries

Council gives OK for review of county salaries Council gives OK for review of county salaries

While Harrison County workers have gotten their wish to have their salaries reviewed, results of the review and possible raises may take another year.

At Monday night’s Harrison County Council meeting, six council members unanimously voted to spend no more than $9,500 with the consulting firm Waggoner, Irwin, Sheele and Associates, plus travel reimbursement, for the review. (Councilor Kyle Nix was absent for the vote.)

“The analysis will also include a review of the benefit and retirement package,” said council president Donnie Hussung.

Councilor Gary Byrne said the review should include analyzing the number of vacation days and if an employee is eligible to take a county vehicle home.

“I don’t know if the (Harrison County Board of) Commissioners approve a certain group to have a vehicle and if they’re able to take it home,” Hussung said. “I don’t know if that’s ever reflected in a salary ordinance.”

The request to review pay came last month from the Harrison County Highway Dept., but the council decided it was best to review all departments, as a way to reduce costs if more employees would make a similar request. It was 2016 when the county last had its salaries and other benefits reviewed.

“Consulting services are billed on an hourly basis,” said Hussung.

The review is expected to take between three and six months, according to councilor Holli Castetter.

“If it goes six months, we’re getting close to budget time,” she said.

Hussung said he wasn’t sure if the council would want to look at giving pay increases in the middle of the fiscal year. The council has already set the budget for 2020.

Hussung said even if the consultants finished the review in 60 days, the changes made by the council could go in place for the 2021 budget.

“I don’t know if any county employee expected to get a salary increase the minute this got back,” Hussung said.

Councilor Brad Wiseman and Byrne both said they’d like to have the results back sooner rather than later.

A speaker with the highway department told the council last month that a review was necessary because too many workers were leaving for other jobs, either in the private sector or going to similar roles with other highway departments in Southern Indiana, usually Floyd County.

The meeting was one of the shortest of the year for the council, which also will have to further authorize funds to the consultants in 2020. Monday night’s vote gave the consulting firm the permission to get started. A contract would be sent to the county, which would likely need to be discussed at the council’s final 2019 meeting, scheduled for Monday, Dec. 23, at 7 p.m. The contract would need approval from the council in January.

The Harrison County Board of Commissioners will have its final meeting of 2019 on Monday, Dec. 16, at 7 p.m. at the Government Center in Corydon.