Budget work continues for commissioners

Howard County commissioners will continue hammering out a budget for the new fiscal year when they meet at 10 a.m. Monday on the third floor of the county courthouse.More than a month remains before the county's new budget must be finalized, but commissioners have already given tentative approval to several features, including a pay raise for all county employees.County Auditor Jackie Olson said all full-time employees, including elected officials and commissioners, will receive a yearly raise of $2,600. Sheriff's deputies will see an even bigger pay increase, as their salaries will be hiked by $4,472 a year.Part-time employees will receive a raise based on a sliding scale, Olson added.She said the pay raises will add approximately $530,000 to the new budget.To pay for the budget, commissioners have proposed a tax rate of almost 39 cents per $100 property valuation.