We are coming down to the end of another Fiscal Year. As I look back on this past year, I have learned that during the time in which we live, things are very unpredictable. We have issues with shipping, supply, sickness and just about anything else that every consumer and citizen has had the last 2 years. Projects that we would have hoped to have had completed will have to be carried over seeing they are still in construction and planning stages, mainly because so many things are hard to get. I’ve tried to be as conservative as possible the last couple years when it comes to spending, but like everyone else our costs of operation are continuing to rise almost daily. Fuel, parts and equipment are just a few areas we have seen massive price increases. Like everyone else we have no idea what’s going to happen. Hopefully we will see some relief sometime this year.
When we met to start considering the County budget, we knew the cost of living was going to continue to increase at an alarming rate. We do not receive money from the State whenever it comes to salaries for County employees. The only one we receive any kind of reimbursement for is our County EM director, everyone else is our employee to pay. We receive a salary schedule from DLG for some of our elected offices that states what we are required to pay offices such as Judge Executive, Sheriff, County Clerk and Jailer but we have to figure out how to pay and how much to pay our employees. In the budget that we will begin operating within on July 1, 2022, we have included a 5% cost of living raise for our employees. NO elected official will receive a 5% raise, only our County employees. We are hopeful that this will help ease the burden for each employee. We do not have the amount of tax money that many of our neighboring Counties do to work with so a 5% raise took a lot of work. I appreciate the work that our Finance Officer, County Treasurer and Fiscal Court put into getting this into the budget.
At the end of the day, I am still excited about many things that are coming to Jackson County this year. RV Camping, a Splashpad, park improvements, the County Fair and the excitement around adventure tourism are just a few things we will see take center stage this year. May God Bless our County as we look ahead.