The city’s part-time workers who were earning minimum wage will receive 75-cents per hour more, bringing them to $8 an hour. That raise will increase the city’s payroll by $20,475.
The other part-time employees and all full-time employees will receive a 40-cents per hour raise, or $16 more per week. This will increase the city’s payroll by $20,800.
A raise for the city’s volunteer firefighters was also approved. Fire calls will go from $2.50 to $5 and medical calls, which are currently unpaid, will now receive $2.50. This will cost the city about $17,647.50, based on an average of the number of calls and the number of firefighters who respond to each call.
The vote on the raise was unanimous after weeks of analyzing the city’s financials to make the best decision for the employees and the city.
“We need to thank all the people here who have stuck with us without a raise,” Mayor Pro Tem Betty Sanders said.
The council also had high praise for new city clerk, Cindy Vines, who has battled through the lack of records left by her predecessor to get as much accurate financial data as possible.
“I just want to thank Cindy for all the hard work she’s put into getting these numbers together,” council member Donnie Burns said.
In other business:
•The council tabled the question of renewing the city’s contract with Revenue Discovery Service, pending a meeting with an RDS representative. The city’s current contract runs through Aug. 31.
•The council approved the purchase of new tires for the city’s garbage truck. The tires will cost $2,170.30. The current tires were purchased used and have been a constant source of problems for the Street and Sanitation Department. The city’s insurance inspector also mentioned the tires as a problem at the most recent inspection.
•The city also voted to purchase new tires for the fire department’s Engine 100. The engine will require six new wheels and tires, which brought questions from the council because they are very expensive. Fire Chief Robbie Busby said some of the tires on the truck hadn’t been changed in over a decade.
“There is no reason to keep discussing this,” Burns said. “We owe it to the city to run the garbage truck and the fire truck needs new tires.”
•The city had a first read on an ordinance to annex property in the Burnwell community, including the T.J.’s convenience store in Burnwell.
Council member Hezikiah Walker made a motion to table the ordinance, because he said other residents in the area had petitioned the city for annexation previously and the matter had been tabled.
Mayor Chris Edwards said the original petition did not have all the paperwork needed for annexation, like this petition did.
Council members Clyde Nix, along with Edwards and Vines, said the original petitioners did not adjoin the city’s property and any land annexation must be continuous, or adjacent to current city properties.
Walker’s motion died without a second. Sanders motioned to suspend the rules and vote on the matter during that meeting.
A vote to suspend the rules must be unanimous, and Walker voted against the matter. The ordinance will be voted on at the next meeting.