New Pell City mayor, council officially take office

The new Pell City Council and mayor were sworn into office Nov. 7, 2016, at the Pell City Center for the Performing Arts. Members of the new administration are (from left) Council President and District 2 Councilman James McGowan, District 1 Councilman Jay Jenkins, Mayor Bill Pruitt, District 5 Councilman Jud Alverson, District 3 Councilman Blaine Henderson and District 4 Councilman Jason Mitcham.

David Atchison/The Daily Home

PELL CITY -- The Pell City council approved an increase in per diem for employees who travel to conferences and other events related to their job.

“I don’t think they should have to pay out of their own pockets for meals,” said Councilman Jay Jenkins, who said he thought per diem could be even more, “as long as it is supported by receipts.”

Jenkins said many of the conferences or seminars city employees attend are in hotels.

“Where we have to attend these things, you have to eat in the hotel,” he said, adding that the costs for meals are generally more in hotels.

Before the increase, employees could spend up to $12 for breakfast, $19 for lunch and $25 for supper, for a total cost of $56 a day for meals.

“If using personal funds, the employee will be reimbursed actual expenses for individual meal amounts, not to exceed the amounts outlined below,” the city’s travel policy states.

On Monday, the council approved an increase in the meal amounts: $15 for breakfast, $20 for lunch and $25 for supper, providing employees a cumulative increase for meals of $4.

In other matters, the council:

  • Amended an agreement with Town & Country Ford to restructure tax payments and incentives from annual to quarterly;
  • Approved an agreement with Logan Martin LakeFest officials to use Lakeside Park for their event May 18-19. Last year, the group donated $67,000 to various community organizations and nonprofits, including the construction of boat slips at Lakeside Park, and made donations to the Pell City Police Foundation and the Pell City Fire Department;
  • Approved a job description for a part-time Senior Center assistant and agreed to post the position;
  • Approved the revised job description for the utility manager and to post that position;
  • Approved a 36-month lease for a John Deere excavator through the National Joint Powers Alliance for $2,677 per month, which includes free maintenance;
  • Approved the bid submitted by B&S Sporting Goods for various spring sports uniforms. B&S Sporting Goods was the lowest overall bidder;
  • Approved an agreement with Southern Software for the installation and maintenance of a records management system for the Police Department; and
  • Approved an agreement with Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles P.C. and Trussell, Funderburg, Rea & Bell P.C. to represent the municipality in a class-action lawsuit against opioid makers to recover any city loses from opioids abuse.

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was updated 3/1/18 to correct the approved amounts of the per diem.