Employees receive Christmas bonus from city
by David Atchison
PELL CITY – City employees will get a Christmas bonus this year after the City Council unanimously approved a one-time pay raise Monday night.

“I don’t think we can do enough,” said Council President James McGowan. “I know some employees feel like we forget them, but we haven’t.”

The council didn’t forget and approved a small Christmas bonus for all city employees. Full-time city employees will receive a one-time pay raise of $100, and part-time employees will see a one-time pay raise of $50.

“This is a token, a small token, of our appreciation,” Mayor Joe Funderburg said. “Personally, I wish we could do more.”

He said the mayor and council is appreciative for what employees do for the city.

City Manager Patrick Draper said the city could afford the one-time pay raise.

“It should have zero impact on the budget,” Draper told the mayor and council.

He said the city delayed the hiring for vacant position until April, and city officials will extend that hiring freeze until May, a month later, saving the city more than twice of what it will cost the city for the one-time pay raise.

Draper said the one-time pay raise, or Christmas bonus, will cost the city about $16,524.

In other matters at the meeting, the council:

•Approved to allow the building inspector to move forward with cleaning property city officials consider nuisances. The properties included that owned by Jeffrey Smith, 1705 First Avenue North, Bill and Robin Cornett, which own property at 207 First Avenue North, and Joe Schmitt, whose property is at 1414 Seventh Avenue South.

• Approved to rezone property at 212 Kings Circle, owned by Wanda Gayle Sexton, from office building district to medium low-density residential district.

•Approved to rezoned property south of the U.S. Post Office on U.S. 231, which is owned by Kathy Abbott Newton and Frieda Polk for the Estate of W. H. Harmon, from general business district to heavy business district.

• Approved to install a street light on Seddon Pointe Circle.

• Approved to solicit bids for five new police vehicles on a 48-month lease.

• Approved to solicit bids to outfit the new police vehicles.

• Approved to solicit bids for mobile data terminals or computers for the new police vehicles.

• Approved to solicit bids for a new limb truck for the street department.

• Authorized the city manager to enter into an agreement with St. Vincent’s Health System to evaluate the city’s healthcare costs. The evaluation will not cost the city any money.

• Approved to advertise the vacant fire chief job.

• Approved the sale of a city fire truck to Dixon Mills Volunteer Fire Department in Marengo County for the amount of $27,500. The old truck was declared surplus in July.

Contact David Atchison at datchison@dailyhome.com.

© 2012