Commissioners discuss cost of living increase for county employees

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The Wayne County Commissioners discussed pay increases, appointed a new chairman and met with Highway Superintendent, Mark Casey, and a member from the Wayne County Ag Society during their Jan. 17 meeting. 

Previously, employees’ annual pay would increase by $1,500, to work alongside the yearly increase in the cost of living. However, since some employees worked 40 hours a week and others 37.5, that increase was not even for everyone. 

Commissioner Terry Sievers recommended the motion to change to a 75 cent increase per hour for everyone. The motion passed 2-1 with Dean Burbach dissenting.  

The next motion transitioned the duty of Chairman of the Board to Burbach which Jim Raabe held this past year. Raabe moved to Chairman of the Board of Equalization and Sievers as vice-chair for both committees.  

For the 2023 year, all other board representatives and members will remain the same. Danielle Gearhart, the new CEO of PMC, was elected to the Board of Health.  

County employee Kyle Huff will take a four-day workshop class and the Highway Superintendent test within the next few months. His mentor, Mark Casey, introduced Huff to the Board, detailing his hard work over the past three years.  

According to Casey, a bridge inspector needs at least five years of training under a team lead to become fully certified.  

“Kyle has really put in the work over the past three years,” Casey said. “He has been under about 240 bridges in the time he has trained. Some of those who finish their five years have only been under about 100.”  

Casey recommended the Board pay for Huff’s hotel, mileage and meals while undergoing this part of his training, to which they agreed.  

He also presented the board with quotes for grader blades, with proposals from CAT and Midwest. The commissioners approved Midwest’s quote for $48,806.12. 

In the County Bridge Match Program Round Seven, Wayne County had two projects accepted. 

The Wayne County Ag Society hopes to improve the fairgrounds through the addition of new grandstands and better accommodations for handicapped persons. 

Portable bleachers have acted as the focus due to their better price point. They also would offer more suitable handicap seating. A brand-new grandstand would cost around $500,000, according to a representative of the group, not including certain labors and other costs.  

The meeting ended with Pat Brentlinger discussing maintenance and updates for the courthouse.  

The Commissioners will meet next in regular session on Tuesday, Feb. 7  at the Wayne County Courthouse.

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