Fiscal Court awards 6.2 percent pay increase to county employees

Published 5:07 pm Thursday, December 9, 2021

Clark County Fiscal Court unanimously approved a 6.2 percent raise for county employees, money that will be paid starting in January.

Magistrates also approved an additional $2,100 per county employee — money that will come American Rescue Plan Act funds. During Tuesday’s meeting, Magistrate Greg Elkins said inflation has increased around 6.2 percent during the past year as prices have risen across the board.

Using that federal statistic as a base amount to increase salaries, Elkins presented approximate figures as to how much the salary increase would cost.

By Elkins’ estimate, providing raises for the time period between January 2022 and the end of the fiscal year in June will cost the taxpayers around $134,000. When applied to a full fiscal year, Elkins said, the salary increase would amount to around $268,000.

Judge-Executive Henry Branham said the pay increase affects around 130 county employees.

The salary increase does not apply employees with the county clerk and county sheriff’s departments who were provided salary increases in their annual budgets which were approved Tuesday. However, salaries will be adjusted upward later to reflect the 6.2 percent increase.

Recent department heads who received raises in recent weeks or on Tuesday will not have their salaries bumped up an additional 6.2 percent.
Magistrates debated as to whether the money to pay for this across-the-board salary increase should come from county coffers or ARPA funds. The county has $3.5 million of ARPA money in the bank.

There was a question as to whether ARPA funds could be allocated in this manner so as to provide pay increases, so magistrates opted to use county funds instead.

However, magistrates opted to take a different route by providing one-time pay bonuses using ARPA money. The court decided to dip into ARPA money so as to provide “premium pay” valued at $2,100 per employee for time worked during the COVID-19 pandemic between March 2020 through Dec. 2021 — an allowable expense from those funds. That raise includes employees from the offices of the county attorney, clerk, sheriff, jail and fiscal court.

This money is a lump sum one-time payment that will be dispursed in January. Branham said around 170 county employees are eligible for this premium pay.

In other news, the county applied for a state grant that will provide more than $57,000 toward the purchase of voting machines that would provide a paper trail after a ballot is cast. County would match those funds with around $69,000 to pay for the voting machines that will be purchased after magistrates decide which vendor works best for the county’s needs.