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Baraga County Passes 23-24 Budget, Changes to the Sheriff’s AED Purchase

The Baraga County Commission has passed the county’s 2023-24 budget. Last night the county held a special meeting after a scheduled public hearing for the county budget. Baraga County’s budget for the upcoming year will include wage increases for county employees across the board.

“The following increase for the 2023-24 budget. forty-five cents per hour, for hourly FTE and PTE. Non-department head salary positions, two dollars an hour for corrections and sheriff deputies, contracted employees. Along with Under-sheriff David Miller and jail administrator John Beaver. Two percent increase for elected officials and department heads. With an additional 1,800 for Joseph O’Leary, Joe Brogan, and Patrick Ostermann.” – Gale Eilola, Commission Chairman, Baraga County

In addition to approving next year’s budget, Baraga County approved amendments to the current fiscal year. The county treasurer will begin preparing for the end of 2023 while working with the county’s auditor. To help expedite any upcoming changes the county commission authorized Treasurer Jill Tollefson to make any remaining changes to the 2022-2023 budget.

The final item Baraga County considered was a change to the sheriff’s department’s plans to purchase AED devices for the department. Originally the sheriff had planned to purchase a series of AEDs that would cost 1,370 dollars each. However, after consulting with staff at Bay Ambulance was advised to seek an AED manufactured by Stryker, so that the sheriff and local EMS have compatible equipment.

Sheriff Joseph Brogan told the commission that the Stryker AEDs would cost significantly more. Commissioner Brad Dakota agreed that while the price point is steeper, it is important for first responders who work closely together to have compatible equipment.

Well it’ll cost more, but sometimes you gotta pay more for what you want.” – Brad Dakota, Commissioner, Baraga County

The Stryker AEDs will cost the county just over 6,700 dollars in total for all three units. Coming in at about 2,600 dollars more than what the sheriff’s department had originally planned. Baraga County will use funds from the Local and Tribal Consistency fund to purchase the AEDs for the sheriff’s department.

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