Employee compensation led the discussion at Union County Council's July 21 meeting as the 2023 budget process looms.

Council first reviewed an amendment to the county's salary ordinance, increasing the pay of a new employee at the 911 dispatch center. A recent hire in the department is making below the $15 per hour mark council had set as a minimum target for the county's full-time employees. 

Council president Trisha Persinger asked county auditor Cheryl Begley how many employees were in the dispatch center; Begley replied five. Persinger noted the dispatch center had submitted a request for additional funding for overtime and asked if the additional overtime was needed if the department was fully staffed. Council member Jeff Adams noted they were down an employee for two months and a new employee would require additional supervision while training.

Council voted to approve the amendment to the salary ordinance and later approved the $5,000 additional appropriation for overtime pay. 

Persinger later directed the meeting to the county's employee compensation looking toward the 2023 budget process which begins next month. She suggested holding a special meeting to review employee compensation after the budget workshop scheduled for Aug. 18. 

In order to free up funds for salaries, Persinger asked council to try to look for any cost savings possible. Begley noted county commissioners had already asked department heads to review potential revenue sources for each department, although most of those associated fees are set by state code. Council vice-president Richard Blank pointed out the county's property tax cap has increased five percent and expects to see an increase in income tax revenue as well. Begley reported her office is compiling tax revenue numbers and will forward the figures to council once completed.

Also discussed:
-Council member Jim Hensley addressed the board concerning its relationship with Wayne Union Recycling (WUR). Hensley currently represents council on the WUR board, but has been unable to attend several meetings over the past year and asked if another council member would be interested in sitting in on the WUR's monthly board meetings. Blank suggested waiting until January when council makes its appointments for 2023.