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City approves $7.3 million budget, raises

By Staff
Leada DeVaney, Hartselle Enquirer
Employees of the city of Hartselle will be getting pay raises this fiscal year, only to turn around and give most of the money back in the form of higher insurance payments.
Hartselle's City Council approved a $7.3 million budget at its most recent meeting. The council is showing expenses of $7.3 million and revenues of $7.2 million. The difference – $161,301 – will be transferred from the city's current surplus fund.
The budget includes a step pay raise for eligible employees, a 3 percent cost of living adjustment for all workers and a 3 percent cost of living adjustment for retired city workers.
"We wish we could give bigger raises, but this is all we can afford," Mayor Clif Knight said.
The raises will cost the city some $102,600.
While workers are getting a 3 percent raise, health insurance premiums are increasing 15 percent, a portion of which will be assumed by the workers.
The city's health insurance is provided by Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama.
Under the new budget, the city will pay for the increase in the cost for the employee, but the worker will be have to pay for the high costs of their dependents.
Knight said the increase will be about $27.50 per month for employees with dependents. Overall, the city will spend an additional $50,000 to cover its portion of the increase.
Also included in this year's budget – most of which was level funding for most departments – were $426,000 in capital items. Included in the capital expenditures is $140,000 to replace the roof on Sparkman Civic Center.