TUSCUMBIA — Colbert County commissioners Tuesday approved an annual raise of at least $600 for most county employees.
The decision excludes numerous County Road Department and Water Department employees who in September received an increase designed to make their pay more competitive with similar departments in the Shoals. The increase was part of a plan supported by County Engineer John Bedford.
The commission approved the raise for other workers by a 5-1 vote, with Commissioner Troy Woodis casting the lone dissenting vote.
“I don’t think it’s fair,” Woodis said after Chairman Jimmy Gardiner asked if any commissioners opposed the motion. “They all should get it.”
The motion called for a 2.5 percent raise for affected workers, with those who earn less than $24,000 per year receiving a minimum of $600.
Employees in the road and water departments who were not part of Bedford’s three-year plan to increase wages will receive the raise approved Tuesday night.
Employees in those departments who received less than a 2.5 percent increase in September will get a percentage to bring them up to that level, Commissioner Rex Burleson explained.
The raises will cost the county about $63,000 a year, according to Burleson.
Elected officials will not receive a raise.
Commissioner Roger Creekmore said it would amount to “double dipping” if the road and water departments’ employees, who already received increases, also got an additional 2.5 percent increase.
Commissioner Emmitt Jimmar voted in favor of the raises, but said the commission should not have approved the increases for the Road and Water Department employees.
He said the county already has a step-and-grade pay scale in place that should be followed.
“There is an official adopted salary schedule that applies to every department and employee,” Jimmar said.
Jimmar was not present when the commission voted on Bedford’s plan in September.
Gardiner said the raises take effect immediately and should be reflected on employees’ next paychecks.
The commission also:
moved the Nov. 6 commission meeting to Nov. 1 because of the general election.
renewed the contract of part-time Water Department employee Christie Daniel.
approved the low bid of $47.75 for the purchase of 468 new garbage carts.
accepted a $100,000 grant from the Alabama Department of Youth Services to provide various services through the Helping Our People by Empowerment Center.
agreed to allow the Spring Valley Volunteer Fire Department to build a satellite fire station on Road Department property on Alabama 20.
Russ Corey can be reached at 256-740-5738 or russ.corey@TimesDaily.com.