Judge-Executive Teresa Barton presented a $17.3 million draft budget at a special Fiscal Court meeting Tuesday. Three-and-a-half hours later, discussions led to increasing county employees' salaries in the 2004 fiscal year budget by 3.5 percent across the board, instead of the originally planned 3 percent.
Each year, one department gets an equity adjustment and jail employees will get a 4 percent salary increase this year, up from the 3.5 percent listed in the initial draft budget.
After a lengthy discussion, Fiscal Court also agreed Tuesday to approve a small property tax for the Franklin County Conservation District. The rate is .005 percent, which calculates to $5 per $100,000 assessment on real estate. The tax is expected to generate $97,600 for the Conservation District.
Fiscal Court had an option of providing $75,000 to the Conservation District out of the General Fund, or approving the tax.
Barton said Fiscal Court has historically funded the Conservation District "at a very minimal amount. They serve a vital role, primarily in protecting our environmental resources and providing assistance to our farming community."
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