Knowing they'll almost certainly have to supplement budgets later this year as a result, Brown County commissioners today approved 2 percent raises for county workers.
They hadn't set aside any money for 2012 increases in pay while crafting the budget last year.
Commissioners cut most departmental budgets by 5 percent this year to account for the sluggish economy and try to find more money to improve county roads. Wages, however, were not trimmed.
The raises are expected to cost the county about $136,800. Commissioners discussed the prospect of 1, 2 and 3 percent and 25-cent-per hour raises during a special meeting called late last week to pay year-end bills.
Commissioner Mike Wiese said it's nice to be able to show appreciation the work employees do. He said departments will be expected to absorb as much of the increased cost as they can. But commissioners also realize they will probably have to find extra money for departments.
Commissioner Nancy Hansen said the move might most squeeze county departments that have budgets with the least amount of fluff.
Last year, most county employees got 25-cent-per-hour raises.