After years of being in a financial slump, the Yakima County now has some extra money for departments. The county has an extra $1.5 million that they didn't expect to have at the end of 2012. Commissioners said the extra money came from huge increases in sales tax revenue and income from election services. The county has already filled their reserve fund and now, several departments will reap the benefits of this unspent money. After taking a $1.6 million budget cut in 2011, the Law and Justice Department will get around $683,000. All county departments will be given a one percent contingency share, which comes out to around $440,000. "{It} Gave them a little bit of flexibility," said County Commissioner Rand Elliot. "Maybe an unusual expense came up they had that little bit of wiggle room, and we eliminated that a few years ago just because of the tough times we were dealing with."

$250,000 will be given to county employees who had to switch to a new compensation package last year. Commissioners said this is a way to honor their promise to workers who made that sacrifice.

Commissioners believe the extra money flowing through county departments could eventually mean more jobs for our area.