Pinching pennies where possible, the Franklin County Board on Monday froze the salaries of four officeholders for a four-year period.
Salaries for officeholders must be established at least 180 days before the general election, Chairman Randall Crocker explained. The vote was unanimous.
The salaries of the county clerk, treasurer, sheriff and circuit clerk will remain at their current rates. The salaries of the clerk, treasurer and circuit clerk are $62,703; the sheriff's salary is $69,196, according to the 2018 budget posted on the county's website.
The move came during a special meeting prior to the board's bi-monthly committee meetings.
During the finance committee meeting, Treasurer Keith Jones said the county is still awaiting nearly $700,000 from the state in reimbursement payments for detention and probation. Jones indicated that although the county's cash balance is "stable," he reported he will prioritize this month's claims rather than trying to pay the entire $188,000 in claims owed. He said if all claims were paid, the county would be left with about $7,000 in the bank.
Jones also reported that several officeholders have not met their budget obligations, going over budget at the halfway point in this year's budget. Member Jack Warren suggested sending letters to those officeholders, urging them to stay on budget.
Jones hinted the county may have to issue tax anticipation warrants to get through the fiscal year -- a move that would represent a repeat from last year.
"I think we'll have to issue a tax anticipation warrant, one way or another," he said, noting the county will be facing another payroll in two weeks.
Committee Chair Alan Price said officeholders have to rein in expenses in the next six months.
"We're stretched as thin as we can be this year, and I see no light at the end of the tunnel for next year. We're not broke, but it's getting tougher to maintain. We may have to consider layoffs or reducing safety standards. The money is not there," he said.