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Halifax County employees to get 2 percent pay hike

The Halifax County Board of Supervisors emerged from closed session Monday night and approved a 2 percent pay hike for full-time county employees, according to an email received from the county administrator’s office on Tuesday.

Vice-Chairman Bryant Claiborne moved to approve the 2 percent annual pay increase effective Oct. 1 for all full-time county employees, excluding employees of the library, social services, IDA, tourism, grant-funded offices, registrar, soil and water conservation district, constitutional officers and part-time employees.

Supervisor Lottie Nunn supported Bryant’s motion and it passed on a 7-0 vote.

Supervisor Doug Bowman was not present at Monday’s meeting.

Supervisors acted in part after a year-to-date summary of the Halifax County General Fund presented to them by Finance Officer Stephanie Jackson at Monday’s meeting.

Jackson reported actual revenues of $38,590,314.13 as of June 30, compared to a budget of $38,267,399, and actual expenditures of $37,512,106.99, compared to a budget of $38,267,399.

During the closed session, Halifax County Administrator Jim Halasz told supervisors with fewer unknowns with regard to contractual and similar obligations and a reimbursement available from the regional jail based on lower inmate counts, funding is available to cover the annual cost of $102,000 for a 2 percent across the board increase for all full-time employees.

Halasz estimated the jail reimbursement to be approximately $250,000 and the cost in the current fiscal year to provide a 2 percent increase effective Oct. 1 would be approximately $76,500.

The county administrator added for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2014, a tax increase for courthouse debt would be required, thus a salary increase then may be difficult to fund.

Supervisors also took action on two other issues after coming out of closed session, approving B&B Consulting for architectural and design services for the USDA/Farm Services building and approval of B&B Consulting for architectural and design services for renovation of the county administrative buildings.

Supervisor E. Wayne Conner of the buildings and grounds committee reported in closed session that in order to renew the USDA Farm Services Agency lease, it would cost approximately $240,000 in USDA and FSA required improvements to the building currently housing the two agencies.

With an appropriate lease rate, the county can recover the investment over time, according to Conner, who offered a motion to approve B&B Consulting Services to conduct architectural and design services for the Farm Services Building and authorize the county administrator and attorney to revise and sign any documents required to implement the action.

Supervisor Barry Bank supported the motion, which passed by a 7-0 vote.

Supervisors also approved B&B Consulting for architectural and design services for renovation of the county administration buildings for use by the Sheriff’s Department after coming out of closed session, according to an email received from the county administrator’s office on Tuesday.

Renovation of the brick administration building to house the Sheriff’s Department and senior staff plus the central evidence room is estimated at $93,700.

Construction of a proposed new operations building, which will house deputies, investigators offices, a classroom with fitness area, locker room, finger print and intoxication area, and storage is estimated to cost $571,200. 

In order for the Sheriff’s Department to be out of the courthouse and in the renovated facility, work would need to begin on the administration buildings by the first of the year if possible, according to Conner.

In answering a question from Claiborne, Halasz said several alternatives were under consideration for housing of administrative staff if and when they have to move out of the building while it was being renovated.

Conner made the motion to approve B&B Consultants for architectural and design services for renovation of the administrative buildings for use by the Sheriff’s Department.

 

Supervisor William Fitzgerald supported the motion, which passed on a 7-0 vote.