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Supervisors discussing pay raises for County employees

NATCHEZ — The Adams County Board of Supervisors discussed giving pay raises to nearly all county employees during their Monday meeting, particularly road department employees.

Adams County Road Department Supervisor Robbie Dollar said the county has rapidly lost road crew employees to surrounding counties because their pay was not competitive enough.

“I have six that I need to replace as we speak,” Dollar said, adding he has 28 field employees now.

Officials said it has been at least two years since Adams County Road Department workers have received raises.

Supervisor Angela Hutchins said nearly all county employees were underpaid and suggested giving road department employees a $2 pay raise and other departments a 5 percent raise.

Hutchins said elected officials, newly hired employees and employees who have received raises within the past year should be excluded from getting pay raises.

Other supervisors agreed with Dollar that the road department workers should have an increase in pay.

“We’re going to have to find a way to come up with some kind of increase in order to keep people,” Supervisor Warren Gaines said of the road department. “Everybody works hard and I think everybody needs a raise but what we pay our heavy equipment operators needs to be looked at a bit differently.”

Supervisor Ricky Gray said he would support employee raises only if the county could afford it — even if it means raising taxes.

“I know I’m going to take a hit from saying this, but if the funds are not there we need to consider raising taxes to take care of it,” Gray said. “If we can’t afford it right now then we need to raise the taxes where we can afford it. I’m 100 percent with you all if the money is there.”

The board did not take action on the raises during Monday’s meeting.

In other matters during Monday’s meeting, the board approved increasing County Court Judge Walt Brown’s salary from $132,000 to $145,000 through a judicial pay raise program covered by the Mississippi Administrative Office of Courts.

Officials said the county pays $92,000 of Brown’s salary while the AOC covers the remaining difference at no additional expense to the county.