By Louie Graves
Howard County Justices of the Peace adopted a county budget for 2016, Monday, and the budget includes no raises other than for library employees
In a brief meeting before a lunch sponsored by the JPs for county employees, the JPs noted tight times. JP Dick Wakefield said he apologized for no raises for county employees. “Our hands are tied.”
Wakefield said he hoped that budgeting for 2017 would be different.
The raises for library employees was different because the library has its own source of funds not dependent upon the county. Even with the raises, county library employees will make less than deputies in county offices.
The adopted budget calls for County General expenditures of $2,171,673.
The JPs also approved an ordinance authorizing the county to seek a grant of $34,000-plus for equipment for the Center Point Volunteer Fire Department. County Judge Kevin Smith pointed out that that the money merely passes though the county.
By not using some money previously budgeted for a part-time employee, Tax Assessor Debbie Teague will be able to purchase additional, non-budgeted computer replacement equipment.
Present for the regular meeting for December were JPs Wakefield, David Mauk, Jerry Harwell, Kerry Strasner, Bobby Don Turner, Cotton Cothren, Martha Hobbs, Brent Pinkerton and Janice Huffman. Also, Tax Assessor Teague, Circuit Clerk Angie Lewis, County Clerk Brenda Washburn, Sheriff Bryan McJunkins, Treasurer Sheri Mixon, legal counsel Aaron Brasel, clerk’s deputy Keri Teague, and administrative assistant Cookie Buice. Also present was JP-elect Kirk Bell.