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DFD willing to forgo raises to help city

The Demopolis Fire Department formally informed the Demopolis City Council that it was willing to forgo the $500 raises approved for nine promoted employees that had been approved by the council months ago.

At the council’s regular meeting on Thursday night, DFD chief Ronnie Few told the council that the department understood the city’s financial crisis and was willing to forgo the raises for now, but keep the promotions in place.

“We are prepared to make sacrifices,” Capt. James Bailey told the council. “We hope that when the economy allows for it, that our sacrifice will be returned and that it reflects the good faith intended by this action.”

“This is a classic display of team sacrifice,” said Demopolis mayor Mike Grayson. “It won’t go unnoticed, and when it is possible, it will be made up.”

Bailey stated that the sacrifice was meant for monetary means only.

“We hope that the promotions can stand,” he said. “This will allow the department to move forward. The promotions have brought structure and accountability to our department.”

In an unrelated matter, Few told the council that he met with the Choctaw County hazardous material team, and that the state is asking that the haz-mat team be moved to Demopolis.

Later in the meeting, Grayson mentioned the need to take action on the construction of the parking lot of the new Fire Station No. 3, located on U.S. Highway 80 east of Demopolis.

Drainage in the parking lot is not satisfactory, bringing puddles to the parking lot. The council voted 6-0 to allow Almon and Associates to conduct a survey for $2,500 and determine if the fault of the problem lies in the design of the parking lot or in its construction, then billing whoever is at fault for the survey from the money owed to that company.