ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — Employees of the Carter Country Sheriff’s Office may be on the verge of getting a long-awaited pay increase.

Tuesday night, the Carter County Commission Budget Committee voted to increase pay by $5 an hour for all patrol and corrections employees in the sheriff’s office.

That’s a total of 133 employees.

Sheriff Mike Fraley requested the commission increase pay to help retain and attract new employees as part of his plan to address critical staffing levels and keep the jail’s state certification.

Funding would come from local and federal sources.

Some of the funding would come from reserves in the CCSO budget caused by unfilled positions. Funding for the increase also would come from federal sources, and the committee voted to use funds not to exceed $200,000 from the county’s unassigned fund balance.

“I want to give my sincerest thanks to the Budget Committee for being willing to make a difficult decision to increase officer pay for our department,” Fraley said. “The Carter County Sheriff’s Office has historically been one of the lowest-paid law enforcement agencies in our region and this decision tonight will help us be more competitive in recruiting officers and solving our critical staffing issues.”

The Budget Committee has asked for a called meeting of the full county commission next week to give final approval to the pay increase plan.