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County employees would receive get a small raise this year, if the proposed 2013-14 budget presented Tuesday night by Shelby County Judge-Executive Rob Rothenburger gets final approval.
In his budget presentation Rothenburger said he was recommending a 1.74 percent pay increase for full-time employees.
Rothenburger called the $18.1 million budget, which is a shade more than last year’s budget of $17.8 million “a balanced budget.”
Rothenburger commended his department heads, including the road department.
“We fix roads; we don’t just pave roads,” he said.
Magistrate Hubie Pollett, chair of the county’s finance committee, said that the budget would include a transportation grant for road improvements.
“We’ve got more money this year out of the municipal road fund, coming from the state [$200,000], and that was a real plus for us, to be to do more with the roads, and that was a blessing, that coming through from the state,” he said.
“This year we didn’t really change [the budget] a lot. About five years ago, we saw the coming of the recession and started cutting back a little at a time. We’ve maintained all of our services, the road department, EMS, the jail and all that.
“That has been tough. But this will be a transition year, where we see things getting better, not so much so that we can go back and replenish everything, but we can give a little raise to the employees.”
Pollett said that the figure of 1.74 percent that Rothenburger named may not be the final amount of the raise because the finance committee plans to take another look at the proposed budget before it’s presented for a first reading on May 21.
“We may come up with a different number by then,” he said.
Rothenburger said that revenues this year “are looking better.”
“They’re not fully recovered, but they are looking better at this point, and that’s going to allow us to do the one point seven four increase for those full-time employees,” he said. “Expenditure-wise [compared to last year], there are no changes on anything, other than we have gone back into the different types of departments; we have done some adjustments on fuel, because fuel prices are up.
“This budget was geared almost entirely to our employees, and that’s because if you go back four years, they’ve only had one cost-of-living increase; that was last year [1.5 percent]. If you go back the three previous years, they didn’t get anything. Now that the revenue is starting to recover a little bit, now it’s time that we start devoting our full attention to our employees.”
New deputy EMS director
In concluding his budget presentation, Rotherburger mentioned some accomplishments by various departments, including the new EMS headquarters currently under construction. Rothenburger said the contributions that paramedic Jeff Ivers has made has that led up to his decision to recommend that he be named deputy EMS chief, a move that met with unanimous approval from the court.
Ivers already wears many hats, including that of Shelby County assistant fire chief and chief deputy coroner.
There has not been a deputy EMS chief for several years because of budget constraints, Rothenburger said. Todd Early is the chief of EMS.
”I know that Jeff will make a great deputy chief,” Rothenburger said.
Pollett said that he very much approved of Ivers’ promotion, as Ivers was a former student of his, and he has always known that Ivers had great potential.
“I had him in school and on the football team, and I can tell you that he is very well qualified,” Pollett said.
Magistrate Eddie Kingsolver, who is chair of the county’s EMS committee, said he thinks Ivers is the best man for the job.
“He has been around [EMS] for years, and he knows the business, and he also has played a key role in helping the progress of the remodeling of our new headquarters, which we hope to open this summer,” he said.
Ivers, a 1986 graduate of Shelby County High School, began his career at Shelby County EMS in 1989 as an EMT and then became a paramedic in 1991.
“Being deputy chief, it’s a great honor,” he said. “In high school, everybody has a dream, and I always dreamed of being a paramedic. And I was very lucky that I got to fulfill my dream. I had great people, leaders, that inspired me. Todd [Early, EMS chief], he’s like a brother to me. Now it’s my turn to show everybody what I can do, and how I can serve the county.”
In other personnel moves, magistrates approved Kathy Roberts as building department administrative assistant and Michelle Warford as EMS administrative assistant.
Also at the meeting, magistrates approved:
§ Giving $15,000 to the Shelbyville Horse Show.
§ A bid from Mac Construction for $61.25 per ton for the resurfacing of Bullitt Road and Montclair School Road.