ERIE – Neosho County Commissioners approved the 2021 budget Thursday afternoon and began an energy project for the courthouse by approving a bid.

There was no public comment at the budget hearing, but it was not without discussion amongst the commissioners. Commissioner Gail Klaassen said she is still uneasy with some parts of the budget, and questioned salary increases of $10,000 and $12,000, although commissioners did not specify which departments or employees at the meeting.

“This is not the budget that I would have chosen for this year,” Klaassen said.

Commissioner David Orr raised the issue that some women employees were unfairly paid less than men.

Klaassen said this year’s budget process has been painful. The budget passed unanimously.

In other business, the commission voted to accept PM Contracting from Grandview, Mo., on a project for heating, ventilation, air conditioning and lighting at the Erie courthouse. PM submitted the low bid of $1.66 million for the project.

Commissioners voted to leave the county employee health plan as is, except for a change in the prescription plan.

After an executive session, they authorized 911 director Lori Nally to hire a full-time dispatcher.


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