Nash board OKs raises for workers


Staff Writer

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Nash County employees are set to receive a 10 percent cost-of-living raise within the next 13 months.

The Board of Commissioners voted Monday to give employees a 5 percent raise this fiscal year and another 5 percent starting next fiscal year.

County Manager Zee Lamb had asked for three 3 percent cost-of-living raisers over the next three years because the county is loosing employees to neighboring counties.

The board had agreed on the 3 percent raise during a two-day budget retreat in March, but after further discussion Monday the new plan was formed, said County board  Chairman Robbie Davis.

“We changed 3 percent to 5 percent with another 5 percent raise in the 2019-20 budget,” Davis said. “That's a 10 percent raise in a 13-month period. It's our belief it will enable us to stop loosing employees. We can't compete with Wake County, but we can certainly compete with other counties.”

To be able to do give employees more in their paychecks, the board made deep cuts to department head funding requests. And while employees are receiving more pay, taxpayers won't be asked to pony up any more money. For the ninth consecutive year, the Nash County budget doesn't call for an ad valorum increase, meaning the property tax rate will remain at 67 cents per $100 of valuation.

The proposed 2018-19 fiscal budget must be approved by June 30.

The board also held a public hearing on selling its home health agency. One resident asked questions and another resident disagreed with the board's decision to shed the agency.

The board is expected to vote on the sale at next month's meeting. The board reviewed the agency's fiscal and operational position and determined it would be beneficial to convey the agency to another operator.

Created in 1975, Home Health is a nonprofit organization that provides medical care to at-home patients so they can feel more comfortable and secure. The agency employs registered nurses; physical, speech and occupational therapists; medical social workers; and home health aides who visit patients at home as needed.