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County employees have the opportunity to speak publicly about revising the county’s fiscal 2013 budget to allow for a one-time pay incentive during the Calvert County Board of County Commissioners meeting Nov. 13.

“The commissioners’ concern is being able to give a pay raise that’s continuing,” said Terry Shannon, county administrator.

According to Joan Thorp, deputy director of finance and budget, an estimated 880 to 900 county employees are eligible for the one-time incentive. The eligible employees, she explained, are those who are normally eligible for step increases or cost of living adjustments, such as full-time and contract employees as well as part-time employees who have worked at least 600 hours in the past year. Eligible employees include the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, she said. However, the Calvert County Public School employees are not included because the county only distributes funding to the Board of Education.

The incentive, Thorp said, would cost an estimated $800,000 to the county’s general fund and an additional $100,000 to other county funds.

Currently, the plan is to take the surplus from fiscal 2012, estimated at $600,000, put that into the fiscal 2013 fund balance, which is used for one-time payments, and pay out the incentive from there, said Commissioners’ President Gerald W. “Jerry” Clark (R).

Clark said the surplus was discovered “after we closed the books on 2012,” and that’s when the commissioners talked about using that money for another one-time pay incentive.

“This is just one-time money. It won’t necessarily be there for fiscal ’14,” he said.

Thorp said when the notice is advertised, the real number of eligible employees and cost will be included.

Last December, the BOCC unanimously agreed to grant eligible county employees a one-time incentive that cost the county’s general fund a total of $536,501.

In fiscal 2010 and 2011, staff received a 0.5 percent COLA but no step increase.

“The commissioners are very interested in being able to do this again,” said Shannon, who noted that the commissioners are also “very worried” about the flattening revenues and decreases in real property taxes.

Although the public hearing is scheduled for about 10:30 a.m. Nov. 13, Shannon said she thinks supervisors would “certainly” allow the employees to go make a comment if they want.

“They’re flexible,” she said of the supervisors.

aharrison@somdnews.com