Bradford addresses Forest Plan

County workers receive cost-of-living adjustment

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A full slate of agenda items faced Lincoln County Commissioners on Wednesday, among them updates from Kootenai National Forest Supervisor Paul Bradford, and it also marked  a larger payday for most county employees.

Bradford, during his monthly address to Commissioners, offered an update on the Forest Plan Revision, Grizzly Bear Access Amendment, pending mining proposals and even a fire-danger update.

Wednesday also is payday for county employees, and all elected and non-union workers received a 3.2 percent cost-of-living adjustment.

The COLA reflects a $185,634 parcel of the 2012-’13 fiscal year budget.

Receiving  the pay adjustment are 90 elected and non-union county employees. 

According to County Administrator Bill Bischoff, the county is near a deal with the two unions representing Sheriff Department and County Landfill workers.

“We’re very close to a deal with the unions,” Bischoff said.

Presiding  Commissioner Marianne Roose explained the pay adjustment.

“This is not a raise. It just allows our employees to keep pace with inflation, the Consumer Price Index,” she said.

“We have good county workers and we appreciate them,” Roose said.

A seven-member committee reviewed the adjustment. Commissioenr Ron Downey made the motion to accept. Commissioner Tony Berget voted against the raise for elected officials. Other committee members carried the vote.

Bradford, who spoke for nearly an hour, said work in progressing on the Forest Plan Revision for the Kootenai, Lolo and Idaho Panhandle national forests.

“We are taking all the comments and preparing a response,” Bradford said. “We home to have something by mid-August.”

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