Salaries increased for Community Corrections staff

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

Staff at Dubois County Community Corrections will be getting some increase in salary to start bringing them up to scale with their counterparts.

The Dubois County Council heard Monday night that adjustments were made to the different salaries in the department.

“This is a good starting point,” Community Corrections Director Megan Durlauf told the council. “There’s still work that needs to be done, but it’s more than what can be done in a month.”

Increases for community corrections staff were proposed last month as part of community corrections’ 2020 budget. But most of those increases were more than the 2.5% the council approved as a pay raise for employees.

Durlauf met with council members Charmian Klem and Craig Greulich last week to discuss the raises and make adjustments. Through those adjustments, the corrections officer positions that had low salaries were increased so that they met the wage scale set for the positions. “I feel better about this than when I presented it,” Durlauf said. “This allowed for us to bring those newer officers up [in pay].”

Greulich said he also thought the meeting was helpful in understanding how the corrections staff’s salaries ended up being so low.

“Community Corrections did not receive a raise for three of the last nine years. So they are behind,” he said. “These people have been underpaid. The corrections officers were lower [in pay].”

Klem added that the supervisors also received an increase, which was justified.

The salaries are included in community corrections’ 2020 budget, which can’t be passed until January. The corrections budget has to be approved by both the state Department of Corrections and the county. However, the DOC gave its approval well after the county was required to submit its budgets to the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance.

With that, the council consented to paying community corrections staff the 2020 amounts at the beginning of January, to make sure they get their raises at the beginning of the month. The budget will be approved at the council’s Jan. 27 meeting.

The council also:

• Agreed with the Dubois County Commissioners’ plan to enter into a contract for the sheriff’s salary, instead of using the state statute for his pay. The statute includes paying the sheriff 70 percent of the county prosecutor’s pay along with a percentage of tax warrant fees that are collected. The contract simplifies that; the sheriff will be paid 80 percent of the prosecutor’s salary, and the tax warrant fees will go into the general fund. The change was made because the percentage of tax warrant fees was going into the police pension fund; the state has said that is not allowed, County Attorney Greg Schnarr explained to the council. The commissioners will consider final approval of the contract at its meeting, which is set for 8:30 a.m. Monday in the commissioners/council room, on the second floor of the Dubois County Courthouse Annex, 602 Main St., Jasper.

• Approved most of its 2020 appointments. The council will finish those appointments after it approves a new ordinance for appointing members of the Dubois County Park Board, in case the council needs to reappoint some members to apply with the new ordinance. The new ordinance will state that two of the board’s appointments be made by council, two made by the Dubois County Commissioners, and one made by the Dubois Circuit Judge; the current ordinance gives the judge two appointments and the commissioners one. The new ordinance will come before the council at its year-end meeting, which is set for 9 a.m. Dec. 30 in the commissioners/council room of the annex.

• Appropriated $15,000 from the county’s cumulative capital fund to pay for a new backup server for the Courthouse, and to upgrade from computers that have Windows 7 operating system; the system is old and will not be supported for maintenance next year.

• Appropriated from the county’s general fund $7,500 to the general jury pay fund, which has $116 left. That should cover the costs for another jury trial that is planned for this month.

• Transferred $5,000 from a deputy position that is currently not filled in the auditor’s budget to the auditor’s comp time fund, to help pay other deputies for the overtime they are putting in to complete year-end paperwork. Auditor Sandy Morton told the council she will eventually have to hire someone to fill the open deputy position.

• Transferred $4,000 of community corrections’ project income from the drug test supplies fund to the utilities fund.




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