City budget plan tops $8M mark

Published 5:00 am Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Recent changes will push the City of Brookhaven’s new yearbudget to just over $8 million, with city employees slated toreceive 3 percent raises next year.

The mayor and board of aldermen were excluded from pay raiseplans. After the discussing the possibility of individual employeeraise during an executive session at a meeting last week, aldermenMonday night indicated a desire to go with the 3 percentacross-the-board plan.

Influencing the board’s decision Monday night were Mayor BobMassengill’s plans to initiate an annual assessment of employeeperformances and to develop job descriptions for various citypositions. Aldermen suggested that information could be used nextyear at budget time.

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“We’ll be in better shape to decide what wage increases theyget,” said Ward Six Alderman John E. “Buddy” Allen.

In addition to job assessments and descriptions, Massengill saidofficials also are developing a means of posting city job openingsto better inform other city employees.

“We’re working on all those, but every one takes time,”Massengill said.

Budget action approved last week, including more money for citystreet paving and a North Center Street project, pushed the fiscalyear 2005 general fund budget to $8.02 million. That was upslightly from an original $7.95 million budget.

City Clerk Mike Jinks said $581,367 in carryover funds from thecurrent year would be needed to make next year’s budgetbalance.

A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for 6 p.m. today inthe city boardroom.

Aldermen are expected to approve the new year general fund,water and sewer and solid waste budgets at their Sept. 7 meeting.The new fiscal year starts Oct. 1.

In budget discussions Monday night, Ward Three Alderwoman Mrs.Jerry L. Wilson requested if money could be included for lights andutility poles on South Railroad Avenue. She said several are neededsouth of Warren Avenue.

“It’s pitch black,” she said.

Aldermen mentioned other places where lights are needed.Massengill said the board needed to develop a long-range plan forthe entire city.

“We can’t do it in one year, but we can begin planning forthings like that,” Massengill said.

Aldermen decided to wait until next Tuesday for any action onlight poles.

That would allow time to discuss the situation with TrafficSupervisor Jimmy Furlow and develop estimates on costs and need.Officials indicated there would be other costs beyond installationof lights and poles.

“Our real costs come from electricity month and month,”Massengill said.

Aldermen concluded Monday night’s meeting with an executivesession for a personnel matter. City officials did not providespecific information on the matter and did not take any actionafter returning from the closed meeting.