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SIOUX CITY | The Woodbury County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday passed a budget motion to give raises of 2.75 percent for next year to non-union employees and department heads.

Those raises won't become official until the supervisors pass the fiscal year 2018-19 budget by March 15, and if approved they would kick in beginning July 1.

County Finance Director Dennis Butler proposed the raises for the non-union employees of 2.75 percent, since he said the negotiated raises coming for county union employees are primarily at 2.5 percent next year, along with one union group getting 2.75 percent and one at the top with 3 percent.

The county supervisors in recent years have set the raises for the non-union employees near that of union employees, so there does not become a wage disparity between the two groups of county workers. The vast majority of the roughly 400 county employees are in unions.

If the 2.75 percent raise is ultimately adopted, it would increase the cost for wages, health care and other benefits for non-union workers from $4,416,708 this year to $4,483,729. The difference is slight, at $67,021, Butler said because the county is cutting employee jobs in the year ahead.

The supervisors voted 4-1 on the non-union worker increase, with Keith Radig voting against the plan, and Rocky De Witt, Marty Pottebaum, Jeremy Taylor and Matthew Ung voting for it.

Also on Tuesday in budget matters, the supervisors made no cuts to the $278,993 proposed budget of the Community and Economic Development Department headed by David Gleier. The budget of more than $3 million  proposed by P.J. Jennings for the County Attorney Office was cut by less than $10,000.

The current year budget is about $53 million, and the FY 2019 budget is being worked down from a proposal that stood at about $58 million when budget talks began in December.

The supervisors will work to finalize the budget during the next three Tuesday board meetings through Feb. 20. A public hearing and final vote will take place in March.

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County and education reporter

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