FARMINGTON — Franklin County commissioners voted Tuesday to increase the unorganized territory road supervisor’s annual stipend by $5,000 to make it $15,000. They also reduced the finance manager’s weekly hours at her request.

Road supervisor Mike Pond of Strong was hired in mid-September to oversee the county’s roads. He has completed his six-month probation period, county Clerk Julie Magoon said.

Pond is also paid mileage.

Commissioners also voted to approve county Finance Manager Vickie Braley’s request to reduce her hours from 37.5 to 32.5 hours a week.

In other business, Magoon said with the lower numbers of COVID-19 cases and hopefully, many of the county’s employees and the general public getting the vaccine, it is anticipated the courthouse will reopen to the public in early April, either April 5 or before, she said.

It has been closed to the public since November, though county employees still worked and were conducting business.

Magoon made the announcement as she shared the timeline for the 2021-22 budget process. Municipal officers will caucus to elect selectmen/selectpersons to open positions on the Budget Advisory Committee on April 5 in the Superior Courtroom to provide for social distancing.

County department heads are to have their budgets to Magoon by April 2. Commissioners will begin review of the proposed spending plan following their regular meeting at 3 p.m. on April 20. It was decided that nonunion staff at the courthouse will come to an agreement on a percentage for a cost-of-living increase.

Commissioners Chairman Terry Brann of Wilton said that was fine as long as long as a voting tally was kept of who voted for what percentage so commissioners can see what went on.

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