Posted on February 26, 2019
By Caitlan Butler
The Union County Quorum Court approved several budget ordinances, including funding for a pay increase for county employees.
At the meeting Thursday, the Quorum Court appropriated the funds for a 3 percent pay increase, which was approved at January’s meeting. In total, roughly $191,000 was set aside for salaries, with $20,000 for Social Security matching funds and roughly $29,000 for retirement funds. The increase goes to current, full-time county employees who are in good standing.
County Judge Mike Loftin noted that the pay raise was altered from last month’s ordinance to go into effect on Dec. 23 of last year, rather than Dec. 28, because the 23rd was the final day of that pay period.
Another $8,000 was approved for County Coroner Stormey Primm’s office after he visited the Quorum Court at the previous meeting to request funds for needed upgrades; $3,000 will go toward outfitting the office vehicles with emergency parts to promote employee safety. The remaining $5,000 will go toward paying someone to assist the office with body pick-ups and deliveries. Primm said they will only be used if no deputy coroners are available to drive a body to the Arkansas Crime Lab in Little Rock.
“We’ve already had eight call-outs [for body pick-ups] this year, and luckily I’ve had somebody on training with me every time it’s been called out,” he said.
Also approved Thursday was an ordinance which gave Union County Circuit Court Clerk Cheryl Cochran-Wilson’s office an additional $8,800 for salaries. Cochran-Wilson said the money would address a pay disparity between two chief deputy clerks in her office.
“I need to make sure that I hold on to this recording girl, because she’s the only one who works recording in my office. Of course I help, but she’s the only one who records and takes care of all the real estate records,” she said.
The office’s duties, Cochran-Wilson said, are essentially split into two divisions, one of which each chief deputy oversees. As circuit clerk, Cochran-Wilson is responsible for both the circuit courts records and recording, which deals with real estate records.
She said she wanted to close the pay gap between the two deputies because they share equal amounts of responsibility.
Another ordinance remitted an insurance payment to the Union County jail construction fund. The county received insurance reimbursements from the jail fire that occurred last August. Sheriff Ricky Roberts said the money was covering the food items the jail lost in the fire.
The Quorum Court also approved $23,500 for bill payment in the county tax assessor’s office.
Caitlan Butler can be reached at 870-862-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.