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Supes eye pay hike for county workers

A 2 percent raise is in the works for county employees thanks to money saved after Halifax County Board of Supervisors directed staff to restructure the health care plan for the coming year.

Halifax County Board of Supervisors are slated to consider approving the 2 percent pay hike when they meet tonight at 6:30 p.m. in the second floor conference room of the Mary Bethune Office Complex in Halifax.

If approved tonight, constitutional officers and staff, library, social services, E-911 and grant funded employees in the county will receive the raise.

Excluded from the increase are school, tourism, Halifax County Industrial Development Authority, soil and water, county administrator and part-time employees and board members.

During the annual budget process, funding was included for a cost increase for the county health care plan.

However, the board ended up approving an option to restructure the plan and cost sharing arrangement with employees that passed along a sizable share of the insurance increase to employees who will absorb the added cost.

According to County Administrator Jim Halasz, staff has quantified the amount required to fund the restructured insurance plan for the coming year and found a 2 percent increase in pay can be provided for employees.

“As directed by the board, this increase will be given to all county employees impacted by the health care cost restructuring,” he said.

Should the board vote tonight to approve the pay hike, the budget will then be updated to reflect the pay increase.

Supervisors also will hold two public hearings, one on a conditional use permit authorizing SBA Towers II, LLC to erect a 135-foot monopole telecommunications tower on the south side of Bellevue Road, two-tenths of a mile west of its intersection with James D. Hagood Highway, and the other on an ordinance to repeal the Stormwater Management Ordinance and allow the Department of Environmental Quality to manage the program.

In other action tonight, supervisors are expected to take the following actions:

Direct a request from the Historic Staunton River Foundation to support the 150th anniversary reenactment of the Battle of Staunton River Bridge to the tourism department that will be asked to provide “a reasonable level of financial support for this important event;”

 Hear a presentation by Halifax County Tourism Director Linda Shepperd on the Southern Virginia Wild Blueway to be officially launched at Staunton River State Park on June 16 and consider a resolution supporting blueways;

 Consider approving the proposal for financial advising, auditing and cost allocation services received from Robinson, Farmer, Cox Associates for 2015-2017;

 Consider adoption of a resolution permitting the county to lease/purchase the communications equipment required to update the Emergency Dispatch Center and to authorize the county administrator to sign the lease and escrow agreements;

 Consider adoption of a resolution establishing the VRS contribution rate for Halifax County at the certified rate of 9.35 percent;

 Consider adopting a resolution amending the charter of the Central Virginia Criminal Justice Academy;

 Consider approving a resolution adding the fee for use of the new silo picnic shelter at Edmunds Park to the 2015 fee schedule;

The picnic shelters are available for use by citizens at no fee. Fees are collected only in instances where someone would like to plan an event and would like to reserve a shelter to be sure one is available for a specific date and time.

 Act on a request of Southside Community Services to become their own fiscal agent with the county and treasurer ceasing to act on their behalf in this role since changes to State Code permit the Community Service Board to act as its own fiscal agent;

 Consider appointing someone to fill vacancies on the Halifax County Planning Commission following the resignation of ED-6 Commissioner Clark Graves, on the Improvement Council, on the Lake Country Area Agency on Aging, on the Transportation Safety Commission, on the Community Colleges Advisory Board, on the Library Board, on Social Services Board and on Southside Community Services Board. 

After supervisors conclude their open session tonight, they are expected to go behind closed doors in an executive session to discuss specific personnel matters; the acquisition or disposition of property; the protection of the privacy of individuals in personal matters not related to public business; a prospective business or industry or expansion of an existing business; consult with legal council; and discuss award of a public contract involving public funds.