Commission approves budget, pay raise for county employees

Suzette Lowe

The Jackson County Commission approved the 2021-2022 budget at its March 17 meeting. The $11,848,638 budget includes a 2.5-percent pay raise for all full-time county employees. One small change to the county extension was the approval of $1,500 for an intern.

President Dick Waybright said all departments kept to previous budget requests with little change.

Montana Boggess, county 911 director, received some good news.

Commissioners Waybright and Mitch Morrison approved a bid from Tanner Communications for $134,700, subject to review, for two communications tower upgrades. Commissioner Mike Randolph was unable to attend. There was only one bid submitted for the job.

The towers at Ripley and Kenna are badly in need of repair, said Boggess.

“They will be receiving P-25 military grade repeaters, antenna and cables,” she explained. “They will be able to operate in both analog and digital.”

Boggess said the Ravenswood tower has already been upgraded due to a lightning strike which caused damage. Insurance was able to cover the cost. The monies for the proposed tower upgrades will come from the Cares money received by the county in December.

“This is all part of infrastructure and communication, especially in emergencies, so easily falls within the guidelines,” Boggess said.

As part of her monthly activity report, which commissioners reviewed and accepted, Boggess said that all road signs damaged in the recent storms have been replaced.

The next commission meeting will be March 24 at 9:30 a.m. at the courthouse.