Rachael Van Horn
Woodward, Okla. —
County Commissioners on Monday approved a revised, 2013-2014 county budget that included a two percent raise for all county employees except elected officials and an increase that addresses higher premiums for health insurance.
The county's higher valuation - which is the estimate of how much ad valorem tax the county will earn in the coming fiscal year - allowed the possibility of the raise, commissioners said.
Last year's Woodward County valuation was $253,360,102.00 and this year the valuation was $267,780,713.00 - about a 5 percent increase.
Board members approved the $4,205,960.88 budget during a second review of the document Monday.
During the first review of the proposed budget in September, recommendations were made to correct a typographical error in the first proposal and a request to include a possible raise for all county employees was made by Woodward County Sheriff Gary Stanley.
The approved budget is $761,992 larger than a year ago, about a 4 percent increase, according to published figures.
Insurance premium increases, tort insurance (which helps pay legal fees for legal services required by the county) and the 2 percent raise primarily account for the increased budget requirements.
In other business, commissioners approved the allocation of the Alcoholic Beverage Tax, which was $11,735.00 and approved the estimate of needs and request for appropriations for Woodward County cash fund, which was $240,276.56.
Commissioners also opened two bids for a newer full sized crew cab pickup for the sheriff's department.
There were 2 bids, one from McKay Ford for $27,779.00 and the other from Irwin Auto for $30,688.00. On Stanley’s recommendation, commissioners accepted the lower bid and financed it for four years at 2.99 percent with Stock Exchange Bank.