City Council grants pay raise

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 18, 2008

DEMOPOLIS &8212; Discussions on city employee pay raises came to a close Thursday night when the City Council heard the recommendation of the finance committee, which was to give a two percent raise to all city employees on the payroll.

The council voted unanimously to approve the raises, but not without first hammering out details on when the raises would become effective.

The original motion from Councilman Jack Cooley was to give the two percent raise effective Jan. 1, 2008. Councilman Charles Jones, who seconded the motion, contended raises could not be given retroactively. When Mayor Cecil Williamson asked Jones for documentation of his claim, he responded by saying, &8220;I don&8217;t have any documentation, but the past experience of 16 years of serving on this council.&8221;

Email newsletter signup

After discussion, the council agreed to approve the raises effective immediately. They also agreed to determine the legality of retroactive pay raises. Another option, as brought up by Councilman Thomas Moore, would be to give a one-time raise for paychecks tendered after Jan. 1 and before these pay raises go into effect.

Fire Station Equipment

After receiving only one bid for a new fire truck, the council approved the $399,659 bid from Pierce Manufacturing for a new pumping truck, which will be funded by bond funds. According to Fire Chief Ron Few, the truck is intended for use at the third fire station being built on U.S. Highway 80 East.

The truck is expected to be delivered in six months; however, the new station is nearing completion. Councilman Jack Cooley asked whether or not this would be an issue.

Theo Ratliff Center grant

After being awarded a Community Development Block Grant with the aid of the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission, the Theo Ratliff Center is expected to have a groundbreaking on its new addition later this month.

Before the addition can begin construction, however, the council had to approve a contract for the ATRC to be the administering agent for the funds, which will give them a portion of the grant funds as compensation.

Cooley said this news was not given to him with enough advanced notice, causing him to abstain from voting. Moore also abstained from the vote on the contract. With the mayor voting yes, the council approved the contract.

Shortly before this vote, the council voted to approve the ATRC to apply for a different set of grant funds. This brought up discussion from Councilman Woody Collins about a previous grant writing experience. According to Collins, a former contract from an unnamed grant writing service left one person authorized to receive compensation for grants, regardless of whether that individual had actually written the grant.

In other business, the council:

Received grant funds from the Marengo County Health Department secured through the Center for Disease Control and the Alabama Department of Public Health&8217;s Epidemiology Division to enhance the city&8217;s mosquito abatement program. The funds were also given to Linden and the County Commission as part of an effort to assist counties affected by Hurricane Katrina.

Approved an ordinance to amend the business license codes to reflect a change regarding licenses for renting and leasing.

Approved Barbara Blevins as head of the Horticulture Department.