Pacific Sign

Aldermen will review a proposed budget this week that includes a 4.5 percent pay raise for all city employees, with additional increases for the lowest police department pay from $14.18 per hour to $15, according to City Administrator Steve Roth.

Roth presented a draft of the budget at the Sept. 5 meeting, and he said he was comfortable with the spending plan.

That initial draft did not include the pay raises, but Roth noted that he will recommend an across-the-board increase for city workers. He said Police Chief Matt Mansell would present the request for police department increases.

Aldermen said they wanted to see the complete budget with the raises included when they consider it for approval.

“We need to see what we’re actually being asked to pass,” Alderman Nick Chlebowski said.

If approved, the new spending plan would go into effect Oct. 1.

The 4.5 percent pay raise, plus a health insurance increase, represents a 4.72 percent increase, which is $135,000 above the budgeted payroll at the end of fiscal year 2017.

A factor in the increase is the city’s health insurance plan, which is expected to increase by 8.8 percent, or $44,133.

City employees have not had an across-the-board pay increase since July 1, 2015. The 4.5 percent hike is designated as part of a cost-of-living increase for two years.

Recent reductions in staff and the city’s reasonably strong financial position combine to support the level of pay increase, Roth said.

The proposed budget shows $5,928,130 in total general fund revenue, with $350,765 in unreserved general fund cash for a total available revenue of $6,278,895.

In addition to the general fund, the tourism tax, water and sewer departments funds and three community improvement districts (CIDs) funds are not included in general fund revenue and expenditures. The city has $654,000 in total CID reserves with no identified projects.

A half-cent capital improvement tax expected to generate $415,000 also is kept separate. The plan calls for spending $250,000 of that funding on street maintenance in 2018.

The contingency fund, also known as the rainy day fund, shows a balance of $1,555,599.

Personnel costs included in the draft budget are $156,000 in administrative personnel costs; $390,433 for the street department; $103,000 for code enforcement; $26,000 for animal control; $26,000 for building department; $30,000 for parks; and $1.4 million in police department salaries and incentives. Court personnel costs are projected at $68,000.

The city will spend $584,175 on the city parks, which includes personnel, general maintenance, grass mowing, and $448,451 for construction at Jensen’s Point, the dog park, improvements, a new pavilion roof and the new Liberty Field restroom/concession stand building.

The city will spend an additional $88,500 to operate the city pool.

Also included are three special projects — Thornton Road Phase 2, Highway N Phase 2, and Candlewick Lane, for a combined total of $775,000.

Once the budget is approved and adopted, the final pay recommendations would be forwarded to the board of aldermen for approval as an updated salary schedule.