Curry approves 2% raise for county employees

Sep. 16—Curry County employees will be making more money after a 2% increase in pay was approved by the county commission Tuesday morning.

County Manager Lance Pyle presented the pay raise resolution to the Curry County Commission Tuesday, which read in part that the commission "is committed to retaining its qualified employees and desires to offer competitive pay in order to draw and attract qualified employees as may be needed when vacancies occur."

The resolution also states that the pay raise accounts for inflation and other factors in order to keep and retain employees working for the county.

In addition to the entry level 2% increase for all employees, every employee who has had continuous employment with the county for 1 year or more as of today will receive an additional 3.75% increase.

Also, in addition to the entry level 2% increase, employees of the sheriff's office, the county detention center, road department and compliance department who have held employment with Curry County for a period of one year or longer as of today will receive a 5.50% increase.

The increase will remain in effect until Sept. 16, 2024, unless any changes or other modifications are made by the commission before that date.

The commission also approved an application for a "destination forward" grant from the New Mexico Department of Tourism that would fund a new screen for indoor events at the Curry County Events Center (CCEC).

K.C. Messick, general manager for the events center and fairgrounds, was joined by Kristian Price, Community Services Administrator for the county in presenting the project idea.

Messick explained two options to consider if they were accepted for the grant. The first would be for a dual-sided center-hung screen, which would hang directly over the middle of the events center, above the arena. The cost of the dual-sided center-hung screen would be around $440,000.

The second option would be a screen hung on the west side of the events center, where the stage area currently is. The option would go for around $380,000.

After discussing the two options, the commission and Messick agreed the second option for the west side site would be in the events center's best interest. The commission then voted to submit the grant application to the New Mexico Tourism Department.

In other items of business at Tuesday's meeting:

— The commission voted to impose 2023 property tax rates. Tax rates will vary, based on where residents live, but they will increase by an average of 1.6%, according to a county commission agenda document.

— Curry County Road Superintendent Walon Jones requested action on several items on the agenda and provided updates on certain projects. The commission voted to install and maintain PFAS/PFOA monitors in water wells located in county rights-of-way. The commission also approved the purchase of three Chevrolet pickup trucks for the road department that cost a total of $138,096.00.

— September was declared as National Preparedness Month in Curry County. National Preparedness promotes being ready for any emergency or disasters and to make sure others and their families are equipped.

The next Curry County Commission Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, September 26.