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20 New Employees, Higher Fuel Costs Part Of Putnam’s New Budget

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
20 New Employees, Higher Fuel Costs Part Of Putnam’s New Budget

Twenty new employees, double the budgeted fuel money, increased benefits’ costs and employee raises highlight Putnam County’s proposed budget shared with budget committee members Thursday night.

Those items make up $2.7 million of the some $4.2 million of increases in the county’s $47 million general fund. Mayor Randy Porter said the county must be ready for increased costs.

“Some difficult decisions we’re going to have to make,” Porter said. “The one biggest thing we are fighting is inflation, and it is hitting every department and every office. The other thing we have to be conscious of is our growth.”

Porter said the county budget committee will need to balance conservative spending while also keeping up with the growth. Porter said the one thing the county cannot do is get behind.

“Our county has been very financially conservative and done a great job over the last several years,” Porter said. “We have good fund balances, and we’ll make it through this. The only thing we have to worry about is the growth and if we have a downturn in the economy.”

The main work force increases include four new ambulance workers, three new firefighters and two new dispatchers. Employee benefits could increase by $886,000. Employees would receive a $1,200 cost of living raise and $600 step raises for those that qualify.

Budgeted fuel costs increased by $450,000 to $900,000.

Porter said all of these number are subject to change depending on the committee’s direction.

After reviewing the budget, the committee scheduled its next meetings through the beginning of June. Members will meet again Monday at 5:30 where the Sheriff’s Department, Fire Department and EMS will make budget presentations.

As the meeting adjourned, Chair Ben Rodgers asked members to study the budget to be prepared. Porter said he should have final revenue numbers ready for the next meeting.


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