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During a special called meeting, Douglas County Administrator Sharon D. Subadan presented the plan to allocate $28 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding earmarked to Douglas County. The Board of Commissioners (BOC) approved the proposal, which included 27% of the federal dollars to increase the pay of first responders in Fire/EMS, the Sheriff’s Office, Code Enforcement, Animal Services, and the County Coroner’s Office.
“Our employees deserve more, and we have to take care of our people to keep them,” said Dr. Romona Jackson-Jones, Douglas County Commission Chairperson.
“There is still more work ahead, but we have made the first steps in the right direction to getting more for Douglas County employees.” Public safety employees will receive a 10% increase in 2022 and a 5% pay increase in 2023. Other non-public safety employees will receive a 5% increase each year. Additionally, no County employee will earn an hourly rate of less than $15.00.
“For the first time in one hundred years, we get to address some issues that we would not have normally been able to address,” said District 2 Commissioner Kelly Robinson. “It is much needed, and public safety is important.”
The BOC also approved funding for Broadband and Infrastructure, Community Stability, Public Health, Economic Stability, Technology, and Recreation. The first half of the ARPA funding was received in July 2021. The second half should be disbursed one year later if the first allocation is spent or encumbered.