Salary increases, new position will not change costs for county residents

By Sarah Lideen, Staff Writer
sarah.lideen@ecm-inc.com  

The Morrison County Board of Commissioners approved a 4 percent increase in elected official salaries and creating a new position in the Public Works Department.

“The budget was approved for a 4 percent salary increase and the levy has already been set,” said County Administrator Deb Gruber.

Originally, the County Auditor/Treasurer Russ Nygren, County Recorder Bunny Johnston, County Sheriff Michel Wetzel and County Attorney Brian Middendorf were all up for a pay increase. But, after voting, only the County Auditor and County Recorder were granted raises.

The County Auditor wage will increase to $84,552 per year, up from $81,307.20 and the County Recorder wage will increase to $69,492.80 per year, up from $66,830.40.

“Last year, the County Attorney and the Morrison County Sheriff got a 4 percent raise,” said Commissioner Duane Johnson. “And Russ and Bunny did not. Also last year, Russ took over the treasurer’s job over and took on more responsibility and has never been reimbursed for it until now.”

During the meeting, Gruber said the county is under budget in most areas and is on the right track for 2012.

The Public Works Department is adding an operation supervisor position to its staff, as the funds are already in the budget. Some current duties that fall under that job title will be moved to the current accounting position.

“With the budgets the way they are, any positions that move or are created come before the Board,” said Gruber. “We’re very careful about what positions we fill.”

The person hired to fill the new position will also work to create grant and funding opportunities and will save the county money in the long run, said Gruber, who also said there is a possibility that this will affect 2013.

Morrison County Board Briefs

Other business conducted at the Morrison County Board meeting included:

• Re-electing Don Meyer as chairman and Richard Collins as vice chairman of the County Board;

• Approving an adult foster home for the county that will have four beds and a crisis bed. No county funds will be used and it will be paid for by the state and federal government;

• Approving the ratification of the Minnesota County Attorney Practice System software program to allow for an improved and updated program by Docutech Consulting; and

• Approving the amending portions of the Morrison County land use control ordinance.

The next County Board meeting is scheduled for 9 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 24.

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