ELIZABETHTOWN — Bladen County commissioners saved the best for last on Monday.
After a short closed session, Commissioner Charles Ray Peterson made a motion to give all county employees a 2 percent raise, retroactive to July 1. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Jimmy Smith and, without further discussion, the ensuing vote was unanimous.
“The raises were already budgeted (for fiscal year 2016-17),” said County Manager Greg Martin.
But there was more good news during Monday’s regular meeting.
During the “Matters of Interest to Commissioners” segment, Peterson made a motion to hire three new paramedics and two basic EMTs for the county’s EMS. That motion was seconded by Smith and, again without further discussion, the motion was passed unanimously.
In other action Monday, the board:
— Recognized county employees with extended years of service. Those employees included Donna Taylor , five years with the Division on Aging; Amy Burney, five years with DSS; Martha Howe, five years with DSS; Wanda Wilson, 25 years with the Health Department; and Carol Strickland, 30 years with the Health Department.
— Approved a bid on a foreclosed property on Center Road in Bladenboro for $8,100.
— Heard from Finance Officer Lisa Coleman that the county revenues are at 96.43 percent of budget through June and the expenditures are at 91.91 percent.
— Were told by Health & Human Services Director David Howard that the county’s Home Health Program has a caseload of 138, its highest in a year, but that the program is operating in the red.
“We made money in May, but so far $116,000 has been billed in June but not received,” Howard said. “We can’t bill until 90 days after the patient is brought into the program, and then we don’t know how much we will receive from Medicaid or Medicare.
“Our hope is to break even this fiscal year,” he added, “but ultimately we need to target 90 percent payment. We’re at about 70 percent now.”
— Approved a renewal agreement for the Young Families Connect Program with Bladen Community College, Families First and the Child Care Network.
— At the request of Emergency Services Director Bradley Kinlaw, approved a Regional Incident Management Mutual Aid Agreement with 12 other counties in the area.
— Approved an agreement for engineering services at Lock & Dam No. 2 and No. 3 for the Fishway Construction Project.
The next meeting of the county commissioners will be Monday, Aug. 1, at 6:30 p.m.
W. Curt Vincent can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.