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County may pay more for summer

The wage scale may be going up for temporary county employees.

That discussion was brought forth after seeing the federal minimum wage climb to $7.25 an hour the past few years. The county has traditionally paid more than minimum wage for summer workers. An average temporary county laborer currently makes $7.50 an hour.

Board members had been looking at raising wages by $1.50 but now it looks like it will be a $1 increase this year with the possibility of 50 cents more an hour next year.

County Commissioner Tom Clifford said there is no budget for the increase but money could come from the county's reserve funds.

The current minimum wage in the state is $6.15 an hour, according to the Department of Labor. Minnesota is one of five states that have a minimum wage below the federal statute.

"Do they need to be increased? Probably so," said Rich Sve, county commissioner.

Seasonal employees returning to temporary employment for the county, following a successful tenure of 67 days of service the previous year, receive an additional $.50 per hour each return year for a maximum of three years, not to exceed $1.50.

Commissioner Paul Bergman talked about the backlash that could come from the wage increase.

The county decided to table the matter until a later date considering they are in current contract negotiations with union employees.

Those interested in county employment should visit