MADISON COUNTY, Ala. - The 2018-2019 fiscal year budget for the Madison County Commission has a roughly $1.9 million increase in revenue from last year's budget. The total budget is more than $174 million and the general fund will have around $58 million.
With the new budget approved, a pay raise comes with it for many.
"Every employee in Madison County got a 2.5% cost of living raise," said Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong. "This cost more than one million dollars, but I think our employees deserve that. The cost to take care of their families it's just like every other employee in Madison County, but that's across the board for all employees."
In order to get the budget to where it is now, some employees will not be coming back.
"Today, we reduced our employment another 11 employees so that we could fund what had to be done here," Strong said. "It's the hardest thing that you'll do, but it's what had to be done. Since 2012, we've eliminated six total departments, more than 250 employees but we're running this like a business."
Strong said that it's important to distinguish the total budget from the general fund.
"We approved a $174 million budget, but a lot of what we approved were enterprise accounts. That is for the sanitation department, that is for the water department," Strong said.
Chairman Strong says he's proud of the commission for getting this budget to work and he's especially proud of getting pay raises for employees. His biggest concern moving forward? Improving infrastructure.