Bibb commissioners leave salary increase out of 2010 budget

Bibb County commissioners Monday began to get an idea of what they may include and cut from next year's budget.

Revenue is likely to be down, commissioners have said. And while the county may be weathering the economic storm now thanks to a healthy reserve, it still needs to keep a close eye on its expenses, they said.

"Things are tight. It's under control, but it's tight," Commissioner Bert Bivins said at Monday's commission retreat at Lake Tobesofkee.

As they begin to craft their fiscal 2010 budget that would begin July 1, commissioners decided not to include a 4-percent merit salary increase for employees, with the intention of implementing results from an ongoing salary study later next year. Employees typically receive a 4-percent merit increase each year.

The raise would have cost the county more than $700,000 next year, said Deborah Martin, Bibb's finance director.

The county's Human Resources Department currently is conducting a salary study that looks at job equity, job descriptions and benefits and compares Bibb to other similar government agencies, said Steve Layson, Bibb's chief administrative officer. Commissioners will have the opportunity to make salary adjustments based on the study.

If the county were to budget a 4-percent merit increase, it may later have to adjust salaries again based on the study, which would complicate matters, Layson said.

"As a practical matter, it doesn't seem that doing both of them is possible," Bivins said.

Several other issues were put off or deferred to committee. For the complete story, pick up Tuesday's Telegraph or come back to