Lyon County Emergency Communications Director Roxanne Van Gundy, standing, explained plans to give dispatchers a raise at the county commission meeting Thursday.

The big number for Lyon County emergency dispatchers Thursday may not have been 911, but $1.

The county commission accepted a proposal to provide dispatchers with a one dollar-per-hour raise. The starting pay for some of them will increase as well.

The commission did not vote on the raises, after hearing from Emergency Communications Director Roxanne Van Gundy. Chair Rollie Martin said it wasn’t necessary.

“As long as she can work it within her budget this year, we said go ahead,” Martin explained after the weekly meeting.

All department heads can make such adjustments on their own as long as the commission and Human Resources personnel are notified, Martin said. If more money is required, the commission must approve it.

Van Gundy plans to give Communications Officers II a starting wage of $17.90 per hour, with 50 cents added once they complete training. Until now, officers at that level started at $16.90.

The overall $1 raise is “to account for the starting wage increase,” the meeting agenda said.

“The communications staff received an adjustment in 2019 and in 2021 as incentives for education,” Van Gundy said via email Thursday afternoon. The staff has 10 full-time members.

She added that the raise “keeps us competitive for future applicants and also shows our existing, loyal staff that we see the hard work they are doing.”

The Mint Salary website estimates 911 operators across Kansas earn an average $34,000 per year.

Van Gundy also received approval Thursday to attend The National Emergency Number Association convention in Louisville, Kentucky in mid-June.

In other business, the commission voted Thursday to provide a $25,000 grant to Empower House Ministries. The money to help women battle addictions will come from what Martin called a “liquor fund.”

“We get a very small percentage of liquor by the drink sales” outside the Emporia city limits, Martin said.

Empower House is a faith-based program. Martin said it’s currently assisting eight women in a seven-county region.

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