Budget offers raise

Published 10:16 am Sunday, August 27, 2006

By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
Brewton city employees will see a pay raise if the city council passes the budget proposed for the next fiscal year.
The budget includes a 2.5 percent pay raise but also reflects a 7.9 percent increase in insurance premiums.
City Clerk John Angel said he budgeted for a moderate increase in revenues for the coming fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1. Much of that increase would come in sales tax revenue.
Angel said he is waiting to see whether Wal-Mart builds a new store in Brewton, although any movement on such a project likely wouldn't have an impact on the new fiscal year.
City officials have granted a pay raise to employees every year for the past several years, Angel said.
The 2006 budget of $4.22 million would increase to $4.69 million under the proposed budget, an increase of $475,524.
Nearly every department budget would see an increase, other than community development, which would actually decrease by $8,470. Community Development Director Pete Diurno just retired after 25 years.
The city parks and traffic budgets would remain the same.
The 2007 budget also reflects increases in other enterprise funds, including the natural gas fund, which could benefit from greater speculation on the price of natural gas. The municipal airport fund will have grant matching funds generated by revenue there.
Meanwhile, capital projects coming for 2007 include an Environmental Protection Agency drainage project in several locations throughout the city, as well as a Natural Resources Conservation Service project.