After facing a multimillion-dollar shortfall and losing more than a dozen employees in an early-retirement push this year, the county plans to fill some of those positions next year.
The county plans to hire five new employees for the clerk, prosecutor, parks and 911 center offices and give employees raises for the first time in years.
The additional spending is possible because the county is not facing the more than $2 million shortfall that had been expected for the year, county council president Josh McCarty said.
Instead, the county was facing a shortfall of about $550,000 and also had more than $5.6 million in savings. The county has been cautious in recent years and made cuts to make up for funding shortfalls, which allows the county to spend a little bit of savings now, McCarty said.
The county also learned this year, along with other local governments across the state, that the state had made a mistake when calculating how much they should get from the income tax. Johnson County governments got a check earlier this year for $3.8 million, and financial outlooks that had been projecting shortfalls were updated to show more money coming in each month.
When officials realized the county had more than expected, they decided to give employees raises for the first time in at least three years. Council members also allowed certain offices to add positions, especially ones that had cut positions when the county had struggled financially.