(BEDFORD) - The Lawrence County Council approved the 2014 budget of $2,339,368 Tuesday night.
The budget includes a 2.5 percent increase for all county employess and a compensation for part-time employees. Those with under 100 days of experience will go from the current $60 to $65 per day. Those with more than 100 days on the job will bump up from $70 to $75 per day.
The budget also includes an increase to the coroner's salary from $4,500 to $17,684.
It includes the purchase of 11 new voting machines at a cost of $37,400. Clerk Myron Rainey had requested 21 new machines each of the next two years, but the council preferred a four-year phase-in.
Because of a decrease in insurance rates, $20,000 was trimmed from that allocation, and the jail commander's salary was increased from $33,469 to $37,750 upon the recommendation of Sheriff Sam Craig.
In other business:
* The council approved the transfer of $276 for the Health Department. Approved the request for an additional appropriation of a $33,139 Health Management grant and $19,200 for the purchase of three computers and software, health education supplies and the salary of part-time staff members.
* The council approved the transfer of funds for the highway department of $7,500 to cover the cost of a distributor truck.
* The council approved the additional appropriation of $45,150 for work on the heating and cooling unit at Courthouse Plaza.
* The council approved the additional appropriation of $12,000 from the Ineligible Homestead Fund so for the Auditor's Office to purchase a new copier for the Surveyor's Office and to purchase a new desk and other needed equipment for the Auditor's Office
* The council approved the additional appropriation of $10,000 from the public defender fund to pay for the salaries of public defenders from outside lawyer firms. Chief Public Defender Lorinda Youngcourt told the council that the Public Defenders office does not have enough attorneys to handle the increase of drug arrest especially when more than one person is being arrested during a drug bust.
* The council approved Sheriff Sam Craig to hire a jail officer to replace one that left the department.
* Bedford City Business and Community Development Director Marla Jones gave the council an update on Stellar Grant projects. She also invited the council to attend a public Stellar meeting on October 28 at the Bedford Chamber of Commerce. There will be two meetings that day, one at Noon and the other at 6:30 p.m. and the public is welcome to attend. Officials will update the community on the Stellar Grant projects and the public will be able to ask questions.
Have a question or comment about a news story? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org