Some Austin County employees will bank some compensation pay, totaling about $19,675, within the next few weeks after Austin County Commissioners’ Court approved the expense.
The nearly $20,000 will come out of the 2011-2012 budget.
The majority of the approved compensation time went to the Austin County Sheriff’s Department and Austin County Jail, which had a $119,000 surplus this year, according to Jail Captain Jerry Green.
“Money is pretty much in the sheriff budget to pay this off,” said Austin County Judge Carolyn Bilski at an earlier meeting.
The sheriff’s department will run a $28,000 deficit, but the jail budget will still tout more than $20,000 in surplus funds after absorbing that and the compensation pay, said Green. He added that although the sheriff’s department and jail are two different budgets it’s basically all under the sheriff’s department.
The jail surplus is due to less spending on inmate food than expected and lower medical costs for inmates than expected.
Compensation time for the sheriff employees will mean about $1,960 for dispatchers and $8,000 for patrol.
Compensation time for an assistant auditor position and the computer systems technology coordinator were also approved, amounting to around $7,000.
An employee in the tax office also racked up around $2,000 in compensation time.
Although the total number of hours worked by employees as compensation time would have meant a cost of $35,000, the county has a general rule of paying down to 32 hours. In this case the county paid for compensation time after 35 hours, as recommended by the Austin County Sheriff Chief Deputy Richard Holloman.
For example, if an employee worked for 36 hours, he or she would be paid for one hour of compensation time.
“If we don’t pay it, we have to book it on the budget because it is a liability,” said Bilski.