County’s newest budget: third ADA, raises for all

Published 11:37 am Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A third assistant district attorney position and raises for all county employees appear in the latest version of a 2011-12 budget for Warren County, the sixth version drafted in less than a month.

The extra prosecutor would be paid $73,833.98 annually, including benefits, by restoring funds equal to what a federal anti-crime grant had paid the position until last year. In budget requests, the DA’s office had projected a third assistant would have at least five years experience and command more than $104,000 in pay and benefits.

A final vote on a budget for the coming fiscal year is expected during a public hearing at 9 a.m. Sept. 6.

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Spending in the latest version is a hair less than this year’s $14.8 million spending plan. It has a $56,922 surplus by reducing raises up to 8 percent in previous drafts aimed only at sheriff’s deputies and spreading a 3 percent raise for about 270 workers in county government.

A jail population manager eyed at $41,500 is absent from the newest draft, as is a previously noted extra vehicle for the Information Technology Department. However, it restores funding for a case manager in Youth Court, at $60,847.

Cash reserves, a major sticking point in discussions all summer concerning employee raises, stands at $2.2 million in the newest draft. Supervisors have said a $3.5 million backup is needed to avoid any midyear borrowing.

Versions compiled this month have tossed raises between 3 percent and 8 percent between the sheriff’s deputies and 17 who work at the Warren County Jail. Balances on each have varied — ranging from the current surplus down to a $76,174 deficit on one plan that fully funded a third ADA and hiked deputy pay by 7 percent.

General fund dollars fund seven departments under the Board of Supervisors direct purview, 15 offices or functions run by other elected officials and 23 other line items that receive local tax revenue, such as subsidies for ambulance service and fire protection.