Employees in the City of Laurel will receive a pay increase in March due to action by the Laurel City Council.
The Laurel City Council, with a vote of 6-0 due to Councilman Tony Wheat being absent, approved a five-percent pay raise for city employees.
Laurel Mayor Johnny Magee, which proposed the five percent increase, said the pay raise is needed. Magee said city employees had not received a pay raise since 2018.
“We had planned to do something at the beginning of this budget year, but we were not sure how our income would be with the (COVID-19) virus,” the mayor explained. “We have been fortunate with our sales taxes and our returns have been good.”
Magee said the employees “deserve the raise.”
According to city documents, the pay raise will be in the amount of five percent for both the city’s full-time and part-time employees.
Based on the council’s order, the pay increases have been estimated to cost approximately $557,000 (with salaries and benefits).
The raises are expected to take effect on March 7 and the city’s finance director has been given the authority to make all necessary budget amendments to enact the order.
Additionally, the city council approved the construction contract for Phase Two of the Laurel Sportsplex Expansion and adopted a resolution allowing the city to pay invoices to Planit GEO and to request reimbursement from Mississippi Forest Commission totaling $16,000 for the tree inventory grant.
Also because of the winter weather threat that passed through the south, it delayed the presentation of the Oak Park Alumni Association’s alumni building to the city.
In other business, the council set March 16 as the public hearing date for a list of properties in the city to determine whether or not the properties are in such a state of uncleanliness to be a menace to the public health and safety of the community.
Public hearings were set to determine the “overgrown property status.”
Additionally, the council conducted a public hearing in regards to the property located at 830 South Magnolia Street belonging to St. Luke Missionary Baptist Church.
The council determined that the property, which is in Ward Seven, was “in such a state of dilapidation to be a menace to the public health and safety of the community.”
In a separate matter, the council adopted an order approving travel, meals, hotel, and registration expenses for the Clerk of Council to attend the 50th Annual Spring Conference of Mississippi Municipal Clerks and Collectors Association in Gulfport.
The council also approved several budget amendments to the city’s FY 2021 budget and approved the claim docket.