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Jefferson County Public Health & B.O.S Have Spirited Discussion On Covid Funds/Raises

The Jefferson County Board Of Supervisors met in a regular session on Tuesday morning where the main topic of discussion was between public health employees and the Board regarding a raise for those employees. Supervisor Dee Sandquist said the board offered supplemental pay, Public Health countering with 10%, Sandquist said both parties then agreed on 5%, before Public health countered again requesting the supplemental pay in addition to the 5% raise. Administrator Chris Estle said her department has dealt with past budget cuts and an ongoing pandemic, in addition to being understaffed. 

While the meeting did get a bit emotional at times, cooler heads prevailed with both sides agreeing to have the County Auditor review certain line items to see what funds could be available. With Covid cares act funds and reimbursement from the American Rescue Plan funds expected to be arriving soon, both sides are hopeful an agreement can be reached. Expected to arrive soon mainly applies to the American Rescue funds in the amount of $3.5M that has not yet been applied for by the County. The Board agreed to have the Auditor’s office oversee the application process, urging them to proceed as quickly as possible. Some Counties have received the funds in as little as 4 days after applying. 

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