Council goes through proposed 2020 budget

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

The county’s proposed 2020 budget was reviewed for more than 11 hours Monday.

County department heads explained their budget requests to the Dubois County Council. And at the end of the day, the council went through the budget again, line by line, to determine which additional requests would be kept and which would be removed.

A 2.5% raise for employees is included in the budget. The council had to follow state statute for some salaries, like the court judges, the county sheriff and the secretary for the commissioners and council. But overall, employees received the same raise percentage.

Some department heads requested additional raises for their staff, but those were removed. “If we do it for one, we have to do it for all,” Councilman Craig Greulich said.

Some additional funding requests were removed until more information could be obtained, such as $200,000 for cameras for the sheriff’s office and the treasurer’s $20,000 request to install a payment machine into the side of the courthouse annex.

There were also some new positions added, including an additional 911 dispatcher, an administrative assistant at the prosecutor’s office, and the county’s new human resources manager, which is now in the commissioners’ budget. Also, the part-time administrative position in the soil and water department was made full time.

The council discussed the need for each new position to see if it’s justified. The positions will help with the overabundance of work in the offices.

“It may be warranted,” Councilman Doug Uebelhor said, “but I am still concerned with how many new positions we’re adding.”

Councilwoman Sonya Haas said she understands, from recent experience in her own job, what it is like to be overworked because there’s not enough staff.

“I can see the financial issues,” she said of adding new positions. “But I also feel their pain of being short-handed.”

Councilwoman Becky Beckman added that once the new jail and justice system is in place, law enforcement will likely need additional staff in the future.

The changes will be compiled and sent to council members for review. A public hearing for the proposed budget will be at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 8, in the commissioners/council room on the third floor of the Dubois County Courthouse Annex, 602 Main St., Jasper.




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