BONNEVILLE COUNTY, Idaho - Bonneville County is proposing a salary bump for county employees and a zero bump in taxes. Commissioner Roger Christensen said a lot of it has to due with department heads keeping a tight budget.
The county's tentative proposed budget was approved Tuesday. It is $68.8 million. Christensen said it is over $3 million higher than last year. Christensen said there are reasons for the increase.
"We were selected for the mental crisis center; there is about $1.6 million from the state, but we have to put it in our budget to pass it through," he said.
Another reason for the increase is because the budget allows for county employees to receive a 3 percent salary increase.
"We haven't had to cut services so now we are able to give them a raise, not raise taxes and not spend into a reserve funds to fund ongoing operations," Christensen said.
The proposed budget also includes a new satellite office for the Bonneville County Sheriff's Office that could be located in the area of Ammon Road and Lincoln Road.
The move could help cut response times. A new dispatch system is also in the works.
"The new dispatch system we are putting in will be a three or four-year process. For example, we are working on a system where people can text dispatch in emergencies," Christensen said.
Other tools that will help law enforcement respond more effectively are bulletproof vests. Bonneville County Sheriff Paul Wilde said about 17 deputies need new vests.
"This is for the safety of the deputy that is using it. Those guys that are doing their jobs I want them to have the equipment that can keep them alive so that they can do their job to protect the community," Wilde said.
There will be a public hearing on the proposed budget at the Bonneville County Chambers, which is inside the courthouse. The hearing will be on Aug 26 at 2 p.m.