City officials say money was allocated in the next fiscal year’s budget for a 3 percent raise for employees.
Officials say the last raise for city employees was in 2008, although employees who have served less than five years with the city are provided with annual step raises.
The council is also considering a salary increase for council members, although the increase would not go into effect until after the 2012 election.
“If we can’t afford to give our employees a raise, I will not vote one for us,” Councilman Donnie Guinn said.
Mayor Bill Hereford said the council has not received a salary increase since 1998, but city employees have. The council receives $550 a month, and Hereford suggested the next sitting council receive $800 a month.
The council is expected to lower the mayor’s salary “substantially” if the council approves establishing and hiring a city manager to run the day-to-day operations of the city.
City clerk Jennifer Brown said the 3 percent raise for employees in the 2012 budget equals to about $168,000.
A special called meeting is slated for 6 p.m. today so the council can discuss and possibly approve an increase in water and sewer rates and the 2012 general fund and utility budgets.
All city departments will see an increase in funding next fiscal year, which starts Oct. 1 and ends Sept. 30, 2012, with the exception of the administration/account department, which remained at level funding.
The Police Department budget includes the purchase of a new police dog, which will give the department two drug dogs for the day and night shifts.
It appears the city will not fund the annual Fourth of July fireworks show. That expense was slashed from the city’s recreation budget.
The Recreation Department has $150,000 set aside to repair the roof of the 19th Street Community Center.
“That’s not going to come near to what it’s going to cost to fix,” Guinn said. “We can’t rent it out. It’s absolutely not safe, especially after a rain.”
The city has applied for a matching grant so it will have enough money to properly fix the old National Guard armory, now the city’s community center, roof.
Fire Chief Patrick Draper said he took out the lease and purchase for a new fire truck because of the economy.
About $300,000 was put into the budget for a city manager, engineer and legal fees, about $100,000 each.
The budget includes appropriations for the annual Chamber of Commerce Block Party.
The Board of Education is projected to receive about $3.2 million from the city next fiscal year.
At Monday night’s meeting, the council approved restructuring its long-term debt for the Utility Department, but expenses still exceed revenues in the department by about $400,000.
The council is expected to approve a rate increase that will help elevate the department deficit.
Customers are expected to pay $5 more for water and another $5 for sewer services or a $10 increase in their water and sewer bills each month. Seniors will not see any increase in their water and sewer bills.
Contact David Atchison at email@example.com.