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SERIES: Breaking down the budget: City staff
In City Manager Beverly Cameron’s proposed budget, there are a number of changes having to do with city staff.
- Cameron proposed 2.5 percent cost of living salary increases for city employees. This is the first increase since July 2008, although last year, city employees got a $1,000 bonus.
- He proposed that department heads will not get the cost of living increase, but will get a 2.5 percent increase based on merit.
- These increases will cost the city $645,130.
- There are also new positions recommended in the proposed budget
- Public Information Officer: This person would be part of the City Manager’s office and would work with the city manager, assistant city manager and all city departments. This is a position that the City Council discussed at its retreat last Fall. The salary and benefits would be about $90,000.
- Police Dispatcher: This person will work in the city’s E911 Emergency Communications Center. There are currently 14 full time employees, 12 assigned to regular shifts and two on-call employees who are “floaters.” The police department requested two additional full-time positions and wanted to convert the two existing floaters to shift work. The salary and benefits would be about $53,000.
- Assistant Director of Public Works: This position was suggested when the city did its water and sewer management study. This person would assist the city with utility operations and capital planning needs. the salary and benefits would be about $108,000.
- Maintenance Mechanic: This would be a new full-time position, that would work under the direction of the Fleet Manager. This person would perform maintenance and repair on FRED’s 31-bus fleet and six service vehicles and would work at the new Maintenance Facility projected to open late this year in Spotsylvania County’s Bowman Center. The salary and benefits would be about $58,000. The transit budget also includes hiring two part-time security officers for the bus station.
- There were also several positions that were requested, but the city manager did not recommend including them in the budget. Those positions are: three emergency medical technicians (requested by the fire department), a zoning inspector (requested by the planning department), Six positions for the public works department: a utility line locator, a street sanitation crew leader, a lead laborer, a laborer in the general fund, a street maintenance laborer in the general fund and a crew leader in the drainage division; four positions in the parks, recreation and public facilities department: a leisure programs supervisor in parks supervision, a custodian in public facilities, a facilities technician in public facilities and a receptionist in the administrative division.
- The city is projecting an increase in health insurance costs of $378,375.
- The city will face increased costs for retiree health insurance. A total of $588,635 is in the budget for it.