Board agrees to raises for 27 employees

ATLANTA – Montmorency County Board of Commissioners agreed to give a raise to 27 non-union, non-elected personnel at its meeting on Wednesday morning. The raises range from 2.2 percent to 2.8 percent based on the employee’s starting wage, current wage and previous pay scale increases.

“This gives pay increases to various officials and employees in the courthouse,” Chair Gene Thornton said. “We needed to do a pay raise somewhere in the vicinity of 2 1/2 percent.”

Commissioner Bert LeFleche voiced his opinion on the pay increases, and said he was in full support of the increases.

“We’ve got to start paying these people some money, or you’re not going to have them,” LaFleche said.

Commissioners Stacy Carrol and Daryl Peterson talked in favor of giving bonuses instead of wage increases because it would have less effect on the future increases in the pay scale.

Currently non-union employees are paying 3 percent of their retirement, and 15 percent of their insurance out of their wages, which LaFleche said puts the individuals even lower in pay.

Thornton went through each wage and adjusted the increases on an individual basis.

“There is no change for a few individuals,” Thornton said. “There are some of them that are slightly below 2 1/2 and some that are slightly above 2 1/2 (percent). We’re going to be increasing the general fund budget … by about $20,000 for the general fund.”

The vote passed 4-1 in favor of the increase, with Carrol voting against.

In other business:

* the board approved the sheriff’s department spending $23,674 to purchase a RapiScan x-ray machine that would be used primarily for the jail. Around $7,500 will be reimbursed from MERMA toward the purchase of the machine. The purchase was approved 4-1, with Peterson voting no.

* board members passed a resolution in opposition of Senate Bill 552, which would exempt gas and oil equipment from property tax, costing the county over $1 million.

* Roger Frye was reappointed to the mental health suthority for a three year term.

* Lafleche was appointed to take Tom Young’s place on the Northeast Michigan Community Mental Health Authority board.

* the county obtained a reimbursement from Blue Cross Blue Shield for its inmate contract program. The reimbursement issue goes back to 2006, when the county was over charged for services. The reimbursement totaled $15,300 so far, and the county is still trying to recover an additional $3,000.

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.