Sheriff’s employees receive pay raises

LISBON – Sheriff’s employees will receive pay raises of 2 percent this year and 3 percent in 2015 as a result of an agreement reached with their boss.

Columbiana County Sheriff Ray Stone advised county commissioners at their meeting this week he had recently concluded negotiations with the union representing deputies, dispatchers and administrative staff under the terms of a three-year contract that went into effect in 2013.

The covered employees received a 2.5 percent pay raise last year, but the contract included a wage reopener for 2014 and 2015. Stone said he agreed to grant them a combined 5 percent pay raise over the next two years based on what other county employees had been receiving.

“If you look at all of the offices it’s pretty much in line,” he said. “Most got more.”

The only other change Stone said he agreed to was that his employees would not have to pay any more toward their health insurance premiums during the remainder of the contract should it increase. All county general fund employees are required to pay 10 percent of their monthly insurance premiums.

The contract applies to 21 deputies, five full-time and eight part-time dispatchers, and five administrative staff. Stone said the two members of his administrative staff not covered under the contract will also receive the same pay raises.

This raises will increase the wage for a starting deputy from $15.12 an hour to $15.89 in 2015.

The contract changes were submitted to commissioners, who can either approve the pay raises or do nothing, in which case the changes would automatically take affect. Commissioners chose to do nothing.

In other action at the meeting, Commissioner Tim Weigle reported the county Airport Authority will be asking them to contribute $41,298 needed to qualify for a $409,047 Federal Aviation Administration grant to resurface a portion of the county airport’s runway and taxiways. The newspaper originally reported the airport authority was awarded $340,000, but he said the FAA increased the grant amount to cover additional resurfacing work.

Weigle said the airport, with an annual budget of about $10,000, lacks the funds to provide the 10 percent match needed to qualify for the FAA grant, which is why they will be coming to commissioners.

“So we’ll have to figure out a way to help them,” he said.