Kent County commissioners OK grants, reject pay raise

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Kent County Board of Commissioners on Thursday accepted two federal grants linked to coronavirus.

One of the grants, which is for $93,331, will go to the sheriff’s department to buy personal protection equipment and pay overtime.

The board also set aside more than $1.6 million for the Kent County Community Action to help people cover various bills during the tough financial time. The county should be reimbursed for that expenditure with a federal grant.

Commissioners voted against giving themselves a pay increase, anticipating a tight budget linked to the coronavirus.

“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be asking all of our departments, offices and agencies to make sacrifices to ensure we have a budget that is sustainable,” Commission Chair Mandy Bolter said in a statement. “It was important for the entire Commission to lead by example and reject this proposed pay raise.”

The law requires the board each year to consider pay increases for the following two years. They’ll keep their current salaries through 2022.