MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — The Mobile County Commission has approved the budget for the 2024 fiscal year. The total is $203,350,036.

The budget is 6% less than what the budget was for the 2023 fiscal year, which is because there were many one-time capital expenses for the 2023 year that were not included in the 2024 year, according to a release from MCC.

The largest expenditure category for the 2024 fiscal budget was public safety, which was 47% of the budget or $95.7 million. That category includes the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office, Strickland Youth Center, Mobile Metro Jail, Court Police and subsidies to the courts and District Attorney’s Office.

The members of MCC made recruiting and retaining employees a priority, which led them to increase employee salaries through a 5% cost of living increase. Mobile County will also absorb the cost of a 3.5% health insurance increase.

Commission President Randall Dueitt said, “Our most valuable asset is our people; they’re the ones who do the work of Mobile County. In this budgeting process, it was very important to take care of Mobile County’s employees. We want our salaries and benefits to be competitive.”

They are also planning to add several new job positions within the county including a director and other positions with parks and recreation.