Madison Co. gives raises to full-time employees - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Madison Co. gives raises to full-time employees

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All full-time county employees will get a 5% raise. All full-time county employees will get a 5% raise.

Madison County commissioners approved a nearly $154 million budget for the upcoming year Wednesday.

For the first time in four years, all full-time Madison County employees get a five percent pay raise and it's at no extra cost to the taxpayer. An unexpected rise in revenue will fund for those raises.

Under the new budget, commissioners level-funded most departments. A few departments will see cutbacks such as the inspections department and the mailroom. Other departments will receive more money, such as emergency management.

Madison County is being forced to make cutbacks because of increasing healthcare costs. The county is downsizing many departments to save money and increase efficiency. Technology will also take the place of several jobs.

Chairman Dale Strong says in many cases, some positions will be consolidated while others won't be filled when they become available.

"We want to put additional employees where they need to be, but if we've got departments that have too many employees, I want to evaluate that to see if we can transfer them to other departments or look at retirement," said Strong.

Under the new budget, law enforcement also got the nod.

The county is cutting back on the number of inmates in the metro jail in order to give deputies and correctional officers pay raises.

Over the past few months, the jail has gone from housing 1,100 inmates to 950 inmates.

It costs $40 per day to house an inmate in the metro jail, so with 150 less inmates, the county is taking that savings and reinvesting the money into its employees.

All sheriff's deputies will get a five percent pay raise plus a $1,000 bonus and all correctional officers will get a five percent pay raise plus a $500 bonus.

County leaders hope the pay raises will act as an incentive for deputies to stay working in Madison County, which they hope in turn will increase efficiency and save money in the long run.

"It's been a revolving door. We train them. As soon as they get trained, a couple years later they take a job somewhere else. It's very costly. The deputies of Madison County go to the police academy. Rather than spend the money on sending new deputies to the police academy, we are investing more in our deputies to stop the revolving door," explained Strong.

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