Wood County Commissioners OK 2022 appropriations Week Of 1/3/2022

Larry Limpf

To fund the county’s operations in 2022 the Wood County commissioners have approved appropriations of approximately $47.6 million – an increase of about 4.6 percent from what they appropriated for 2021.
In a letter to elected officials, the commissioners say the county’s basic governmental operations have proceeded better this year than in 2020 despite the continuing pandemic.
“Due primarily to continuing robust sales tax collection, Wood County remains in a strong financial position,” the letter says. “The only significant revenue source that has declined appreciably is interest income – a direct result of interest rates remaining below one percent. We will continue to monitor revenues while planning for expenditures by using sound budget principles. The other significant dilemmas facing county offices are a shortage of potential employees and wage pressures from employers throughout Wood County.”
The commissioners have already allocated $21 million in the permanent improvement fund for an expansion and renovation of the county jail and will use the fund to pay for upgrades to a court room, including access improvements to a restroom, improvements to the electrical system, new carpeting and paint.
Discussions on replacing the county highway garage will continue in 2022, the letter says.
Two new full-time positions were approved for next year: an application development manager to assist the courts with information technology and a new patrol deputy in the sheriff’s office. The cost of the deputy will be reimbursed through a township policing agreement.
“In the past year it has become increasingly difficult to attract people to fill vacant county jobs,” the commissioners write. “In order to address this and take steps to keep existing staff we agreed to provide a wage increase of 4 percent to employees in all commissioners’ departments as well as those in the prosecutor’s, recorder’s, court secretary, and public defender’s offices for 2022. An increase to reflect this percentage will also be made to the salary items, not including grants, for all remaining elected officials and general fund departments (including the board of elections) to be distributed as they see fit to staff currently on their personnel services schedule.”
In addition, to address wage pressures the commissioners approved lump-sum payments for 2022 only to employees:
-Regular, full-time employees currently being paid 46,000 or less will receive a payment of $2,000
-Regular, full-time employees currently being paid $46,000 up to $62,000 will receive a payment of $1,000
-Regular, full-time employees currently being paid $62,000 up to $72,000 will receive a payment of $500
The payments will be made in halves in January and July.
“Employees from any office or department who have already received a lump sum payment, bonus payment, or any other similar payment in 2021 are not eligible for these lump sum payments,” the letter says.


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