The Elmore County Commission is looking to approve its largest budget just shy of $34 million in two weeks.

“We spent a lot of time over the previous three to four months working on this,” Elmore County Commission chair Troy Stubbs said at Monday’s commission meeting. “We have been working with department heads and this budget will include merit-based raises.”

Stubbs said the countywide merit-based raises have been a long time coming.

“We have been working on them about two years now,” Stubbs said. “We are excited to implement them.”

The merit raises are covered largely from a savings in self-insurance for liability and through savings created through work of the recently created director of insurance and safety.

Stubbs said the commission will pass along to the Elmore County Board of Education 25% of sales tax collections the county receives from internet sales.

“It has grown tremendously,” Stubbs said. “It has helped our general fund. (The Elmore County Board of Education) has specific needs. Sales tax normally comes from brick and mortar stores.”

The budget will also create a single information technology department adding an employee to mainly work in the Elmore County Sheriff’s Department as a forensic officer.

Elmore County chief engineer and operations officer Richie Beyer said much of the increase in the budget comes from savings for larger one-time projects, an effort to manage the county’s fleet of vehicles and funds from Rebuild Alabama.

“Those count for nearly $8 million,” Beyer said.

Stubbs said many of the road projects would not be possible without the new gas tax.

“If we did not have the Rebuild Alabama funds, we would not be able to do these projects,” Stubbs said.

Some of the capital expenditures being added to the budget are the replacement of the sheriff’s department operations building that housed the narcotics task force. 

The commission approved a bid for the Judge of Probate office to enter into a contract with Diversified Companies LLC to mail out notices for tag renewals.

“This is not legally required, but if we would likely have a riot if we didn’t do it,” Elmore County Probate Judge John Thornton said. “We had to bid it out because the yearly total was more than $15,000 due to increase in postage and Elmore County growing. We were using Alpha Graphics but I have called around. We checked the reputation of Diversified with other counties who use them. They come highly recommended.”

Stubbs said the medical complex project on U.S. Highway 231 is moving along quite well.

“The county is acting as a conduit for grants from (Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs) and (The Appalachian Regional Commission) for about $300,000,” Stubbs said. “It is my understanding it will be ready and operational by late spring 2020. It is already completely leased out.”

Stubbs said it would be occupied completely by medical professionals.

In other action the Elmore County Commission:

• Learned the county received an award for safety at a recent conference. 

• Approved a digital information cooperative mapping agreement with Alabama Department of Transportation. ALDOT will provide the county with topographical maps from recent aerial photography flights. It will cost the county $2,500.

• Awarded a bid to Robinson Recycling for surplus scrap metal.

• Approved resolutions to move a voting location from the Buyck Fire Department to the New Home Baptist Church in Titus.

• Approved warrants for Aug. 2 through Sept. 3.

• Approved plats Redland Ridge Plat 3, The Ridge Phase V and Brookwood Plat 10.

• Declared a computer surplus and donated it to the Elmore Volunteer Fire Department.

• Approved the resignation and hiring of several employees, the declaration of emergency illness of two employees and the transfer of 40 hours of sick from one employee to another.

The next meeting of the Elmore County Commission is at 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 23.