December 22, 2020

Commissioners question amount of county overtime

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

With McKenzie County paying out over $1.493 million in overtime salaries through November of 2020, one McKenzie County commissioner is saying that something needs to be done to reduce these costs to the county.
“It (overtime) has been steadily increasing over the years,” stated Commissioner Kathy Skarda, during the Dec. 15 commission meeting. It’s concerning that the yearly budget line item is like 280 percent over the budget for some departments. And this is only through November.”
Skarda suggested that work needs to be done with the department heads to somehow reduce the overtime.
“We need to help our employees work smarter, not longer,” stated Skarda. “We need to have employees focus on their work during the time that they are actually there. And maybe we need to have cross training to help those employees who are far behind on their work.”
According to Skarda, four county departments - the sheriff’s office, the county dispatch, the corrections department and the roads and bridges department account for the bulk of the overtime.
Through the end of November, the road and bridges department has spent over $734,000 in overtime followed by the sheriff’s office, $330,251; the corrections department, $222,127; and the dispatch department, $115,118.

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