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Summit County’s 2023 budget prioritizes employee raises

Summit County Court House - Coalville

The Summit County Council meets Wednesday and will get its first look at next year’s budget.

The Summit County Council meets Wednesday and will get its first look at next year’s budget.

Interim County Manager Janna Young’s recommended 2023 budget for operating funds is nearly $72 million, which is an increase of 8% over last year.

Young told KPCW the top priority in the budget is staff recruitment and retention. To make progress in those areas, the county wants to give its employees a 10% cost of living adjustment, or COLA.

“One of the things that keeps me up at night as a local government and a service-oriented organization - meaning we don’t manufacture or sell anything that has unlimited profit potential - is how do we survive as an organization and continue to provide a high level of service to the community and in a county where it’s extremely expensive to live?” Young said.

She said the hope is that with increased pay, there will be less staff turnover.

“We are currently seeing in our organization around a 14% turnover ratio," she said.

"Which we should be closer to 5%. This is extremely disruptive and expensive. We lose employee productivity. We lose investment in training and skills in employees when they leave. Especially in some of our departments that don’t have a lot of redundancy or a deep bench.”

The Social Security Administration’s COLA for 2023 will be announced Thursday, and some analysts expect it to be around 9% or possibly higher, according to the AP. Young mentioned that the Utah Highway Patrol’s recent COLA was 15%.

The council won’t vote on the budget Wednesday. This week kicks off a deliberation process which will eventually lead to public hearings and possible adoption in December.

The meeting at the Ledges Event Center in Coalville starts at 1:45 p.m. The agenda and a link to attend virtually can be found here.