SYLACAUGA -- The City Council promised employees a pay increase as it worked on a budget for 2019.
On Tuesday evening, the council delivered by approving a resolution authorizing a 2-percent cost-of-living pay increase for all full-time employees
The City Council also adopted the general fund operating budget for the municipality for 2019.
Included in the resolution adopting the operating budget was related fund transfers and authorizing agency contracts for services. These agencies received level funding.
Mayor Jim Heigl was given authorization to execute these contracts on the city’s behalf.
The pay raise includes the Parks and Recreation Department and B.B. Comer Memorial Library employees and becomes effective with the pay period ending Nov. 9.
The general fund operating budget has revenues of $15,745,607.14, with expenditures of $15,677,296.99. This leaves a surplus balance of $68,310.15.
The council worked on whittling the budget down after first drafts indicated the city was facing a deficit.
At one point, Council President Lee Perryman proposed an across-the-board reduction of 4 percent, but city departments tightened their belts, which he later said prevented the cost-cutting measures.
Throughout the budget work sessions, council members never waivered on providing a raise for employees.
In an effort to raise more revenue for the city, Perryman proposed increasing taxes in three areas.
Tuesday evening, the council adopted ordinances increasing the sales and use tax on automobiles; the lease and rental tax on automobiles; and a 10-percent increase in the lodging tax.
Sales and use tax and the lease and rental tax fees increased by 1.25 percent.
All of these are effective starting Jan. 1.
Perryman thanked City Clerk Patricia Carden and financial specialist Yolunda Burns, along with the others in Carden’s finance department, for their work on the budget.
More on Tuesday’s council meeting will be in Friday’s Daily Home.