The Madison County Commission has given its final approval to a $240.5 million budget for fiscal year 2023.
The balanced budget will take care of the county employees with an 8.6% cost of living adjustment. This comes at a crucial time for these employees as inflation is eroding the budgets of families across the nation.
But officials were also pleased that the 2023 budget will also put more law enforcement officers on patrol, another critical need for Madison County, one of the fastest growing counties in Alabama.
“Our employees are the most valuable asset of the Madison County Commission and we wanted to ensure them that we are going to help them meet the needs of their families,” said Chairman Dale Strong. “Their abilities, experience and knowledge are a crucial factor in making our operations run smoothly and provide the best possible service to our citizens and taxpayers.”
Strong said the wage increases were also important in retaining good employees and helping recruit the best job applicants in a tight labor market. Currently there are 23 openings across Madison County, including the sheriff’s office and county jail.
Total revenues for the county’s general fund budget were up 7.5% to $78 million from 2022 to 2023, according to Assistant Finance Director Joseph White. He said the positive trends were in new home construction as well as increased property and permit revenues.
White added that additional gas revenues are also allowing the county to finance additional capital and road projects. The road and bridge fund grew from $27.6 million to $29.8 million.
Strong said he was anticipating further revenue increases and cost savings from budgets during the next few years. He said the goal is to build a new county courthouse.
The cost of living increase for the county’s full-time employees is effective in October and will appear on the Oct. 28 paycheck.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been updated.
Ray Garner is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News