Teton County General Fund, Fiscal Year 2020

The Teton County Board of County Commissioners is hosting a public hearing Tuesday on its proposed 2020 budget.

The hearing, which starts at 9 a.m. in the commissioners’ chambers, is scheduled to be followed by the adoption of that budget.

The proposed budget totals $44.9 million and represents a 4% increase over last year’s total budget.

Included in the proposed budget is more than $1.4 million in pay raises for all staffers, raising salaries to 7.5% above market rate. It’s supposed to help with recruiting and retaining employees amid Jackson Hole’s rising cost of living.

That means 99% of Teton County employees will see a pay raise this year, Human Resources Director Julianne Fries said.

“To me the goal is staff recruitment, staff retention, staff morale,” Commissioner Luther Propst said. “The best way to do that today is an all-staff increase.”

Also included are several new positions, like firefighters, a planner and a health inspector. According to county commission administrator Alyssa Watkins, the number of full-time equivalent employees at the county will increase by about 5.2 next year.

“The big change this year is personnel impacts,” County Clerk Sherry Daigle said, “because they just approved a big old whopping amount for salary increases, which also affects retirement, taxes and workers compensation.”

Daigle pointed out that funding staff is a major investment as the costs will remain in future budgets.

“Those costs carry on and on and on,” Daigle said.

The proposed budget allocates cash for road projects like $1.2 million to complete paving of Spring Gulch Road, $750,000 for planning for the Tribal Trail Connector and $850,000 for Stateline Road in Alta.

There’s also funding for planning on wildlife crossings, Stilson, legislative lobbying, downtown Wilson, and a human services funding model.

A million dollars will go toward property acquisition for housing for county employees, and another $767,500 is earmarked to remodel existing county employee housing.

Contact Allie Gross at 732-7063 or county@jhnewsandguide.com.

Allie Gross covers Teton County government. Originally from the Chicago area, she joined the News&Guide in 2017 after studying politics and Spanish at Vanderbilt University in Nashville.

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