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2011 budget passes with city worker bonuses

Full-time employees of the City of Demopolis will notice a little something extra in their paychecks this holiday season.
This week, the Demopolis City Council passed a $9.8-million budget, including a one-time $1,000 bonus for each of the city’s 105 full-time employees.
The funding for the bonuses would come from any surplus being generated in this fiscal year, which ends on Sept. 30. Mayor Mike Grayson said that the bonuses would typically be paid in the pay period closest to Thanksgiving.
The Demopolis Police Department will receive additional funding through a transfer of animal control funds from the public works department to the police department. The DPD will also add three officers and a vehicle and will implement a pay-grade system to make salaries more in line with officers’ ranks, adjusting some salaries to reflect that.
“By hiring those three new officers, that will put Demopolis at a full-shift capacity for the first time in a long, long time,” said mayor Mike Grayson. “We have one that is on the COPS (Community-Oriented Policing Services) grant.”
The $9,826,680 budget is a 2.5-percent increase over last year’s budget, but Grayson added that, thus far this fiscal year, the sales tax totals are up 3.44 percent over last year at this time.
“It’s kind of scary to be talking about an increased budget in these times,” Grayson said, “but thus far, our sales taxes have held steady, but we don’t know what revenues to expect from the state. What are going to be the lingering time-bomb effects of the BP oil spill? That, and the overall economic situation.”