Friday, July 11, 2014

Hailey mayor proposes 2 percent pay increase for city staff

Slight increase in LOT revenues anticipated

Express Staff Writer

    During the city’s initial budget hearing Monday, Hailey Mayor Fritz Haemmerle called for a 2 percent raise for city employees, funding for new staff positions in the Public Works Department and Streets Department, and no increases for local option tax-funded organizations.
    “The city is losing its competitive pay structure to other cities which is, or will be, compromising the quality of employees,” Haemmerle said.
    The proposed budget for fiscal year 2015—which starts Oct. 1—is $4.73 million, up $60,000 from last year’s $4.67 million.
    The mayor recommended $164,000 in new capital improvements, including funding for skatepark lights and bathroom relocation, snow removal equipment, sprinkler monitoring equipment, and a fuel storage tank.
    Haemmerle said the Hailey Public Library has asked for an increase to the director’s salary, and $27,480 for electronic book-monitoring equipment, which he supports.
     The mayor said the city would need to spend $150,000 in the next two years for firefighting gear, if the new fire chief is unable to locate a grant to pay for it.
    “The budget as proposed by staff and partners was estimated to be $350,000 above revenues,” said Haemmerle. “Accordingly, some tough decisions need to be made.”
    He recommended budgeting $10,000 for a sign marking the southern entrance to the city.
    Haemmerle said the city is estimating an increase of $5,000 in available local-option-tax revenue ($345,000 versus $340,000). The city is down from a high of $360,000.  
    “My suggestion is to keep every prior LOT-funded element flat and allow for some increases if LOT funds are realized,” Haemmerle said.
    The next Hailey City Council meeting will take place on Monday, July 21, at 5:30 p.m.
Tony Evans:

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