The Pulaski County Council met in special session Wednesday to cut $338,000 from its 2018 budget proposal. As part of that effort, county employees who were set to get a two-percent raise would now only get a one-percent increase, based on Wednesday’s discussion. That’s expected to save the county about $45,000 in next year’s budget.
Council member Linda Powers also recommended that the council and commissioners forego a pay raise for themselves next year. “We’re talking about trying to have them watch their budgets, which I think people did actually a pretty good job this last year of watching their budgets and trying to find transfers,” she said. “So I wouldn’t feel right getting a raise when we’re talking about trying to give them at least something, since last year, we kind of held it all still.”
Council members also plan to deny a request from Superior Court to add a second public defender. They decided it would be better to continue dealing with additional appropriations requests as needed, than to be stuck with the expense, if the number of cases goes back down.
On top of that, nearly $200,000 of the savings will come from shifting four 911 dispatchers’ salaries out of the county’s General Fund and into the CAGIT Fund. Currently, four dispatchers are paid out of the the CAGIT Fund, six are paid out of the County General Fund, and the head dispatcher is paid out of the 911 Fund.
Following Wednesday’s updates, the Pulaski County Council is expected to formally adopt its budget Monday. It will then go to the state for final approval.