ST. CLOUD -- Stearns County commissioners have voted to raise their salaries for the first time in seven years.

Commissioners voted 3-2 in favor of a 3% increase for 2016, their first raise since 2009. Currently, commissioners make $35,500 per year. Their new salary will be $36,565.

Commissioners Jeff Mergen and Mark Bromenschenkel voted against the raise citing health insurance benefits, retirement contributions and mileage reimbursement which put their annual compensation closer to $50,000 a year.