Montgomery County budgets changed but still approved
NORRISTOWN -- The Montgomery County commissioners unanimously approved budgets Thursday totaling $375.7 million for the general fund, $93.1 million for capital projects, and $11.7 million for open space.
There were some changes from the draft budgets debated earlier this month. For example, the county will spend an extra $200,000 to operate Parkhouse senior center through January, when the sale of the property is expected to be complete.
Another change is that the 1.5 percent raise set aside for nonunion employees will not include the county's prison guards, who voted Monday to join the Teamsters. Contract negotiations for those officers will begin soon, said Chairman Josh Shapiro.
Also excluded from that 1.5 percent raise are several high-ranking county administrators who will receive larger raises beginning Jan. 6. Among them: Chief Operating Officer Lauren Lambrugo, whose pay jumps 6.6 percent; Lambrugo's assistant, Benjamin Jaye, 13 percent; and Chief Finance Officer Uri Monson and Solicitor Ray McGarry, 5.7 percent.
Shapiro said those pay increases are warranted because the employees have taken on increased responsibilities. He added that those administrators "continue to be between the low- and the mid-range of the salary scale" for their positions.
The final capital budget for 2014-18 will grow about $2 million over the draft estimate because the state transportation funding bill will require more county matching funds for SEPTA infrastructure projects, Monson said.
The commissioners also approved subsidies of $17.2 million for Montgomery County Community College, $2.4 million for county libraries, and $4.3 million for mass transportation.
"We are on really sound footing, and very, very good days lie ahead," Shapiro said.
- Jessica Parks