Salaries for Garfield County employees received a 5 percent cost-of-living raise for the 2006-07 fiscal year, according to Steve Hobson, chairman of the Garfield County Board of Commissioners. The raises totaled $136,307.

Elected county officials receive $4,650 per month, or $55,800 annually. County salaries are set by state law, based on amount of valuation and total population. Elected officials include court clerk, county clerk, sheriff, treasurer, assessor and commissioners. The increase, up from $4,000 per month last year, was determined by including the statutory travel expense of $400, plus the $200 raise and a $50 valuation increase, said Garfield County Clerk Kathy Hughes.

This was the first salary increase for county employees since 2002, according to Garfield County Assessor Wade Patterson.

Salary of deputies also are set based on a percentage of the officeholder’s salary. All sala-ries, except part-time, are listed on a monthly basis. New salaries for Garfield County employees are:

Courthouse employees

First deputies, $2,260; second deputies, $1,970; and third deputies, $1,700.

Sheriff’s Department

Undersheriff, $3,000; jail nurse, $3,567; jail administrator, $2,150; senior deputy, $2,115; deputy, $2,090; administrative deputy, $2,050; jail supervisor, $1,997; maintenance, $1,720; and jailer/dispatcher, $1,650.

Highway Department

Road foreman, $2,625; assistant road foreman, $2,265; employees with more than 10 years service, $1,955; employee with up to 10 years service, $1,850; and part-time employees, $8.25 per hour.

Hobson said there are a number of expenses that will impact the budget this year. Health insurance costs will increase by $36,766.80.

Property and liability insurance premiums will increase by $7,805 from $187,150 to $195,272. The premium is pro-rated to various departments, with the highway department paying $94,272. The impact to the general fund will be $41,442.

The contingency fund balance, as of June 30, totaled $2,087,727.79. The county was impacted by $54,000 in attorney fees to defend lawsuits against the old jail, before the county had insurance.

On the other hand, after a year of operation, the county now has an accurate budget for operation of the new jail, Hobson said. Last year was the first year of operation of the Garfield County Detention Facility, and costs largely were unknown, he said.

Hobson said Sheriff Bill Winchester did a “good job” with last year’s budget.

Last year, commissioners budgeted $500,000 for the jail. This year, the budget was increased to $600,000 because commissioners think they may need to add employees, Hobson said. A Department of Justice inspection is set for October, and the sheriff’s department may be required to do additional things at the jail, he said.

Commissioners also ap-proved Monday members of the Garfield County Public Safety Association. Officers are Cla-rence Maly, chairman; Marc Bolz, vice chairman; David Wedel, secretary; Cathy Mem-bers, treasurer; and Joel Eggers, member.

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