Atmore budget includes raises

Published 3:59 pm Thursday, October 13, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
Skyrocketing gas prices have been noticeable in everyone's wallets and pocketbooks lately.
Employees with the City of Atmore felt a little bit of that financial burden lifted as the council voted unanimously to approve a five percent pay raise for all its employees during Monday afternoons regular scheduled council meeting.
"Gas prices go up for our employees like it does everybody else, so we're going to give a five percent raise across the board to all of our employees," Mayor Howard Shell said. "We felt like in view of the fact our employees had put themselves in danger and put the city in front of their own families during dire times that we needed to give them a nice little raise to let them know that we appreciate their efforts and being on call during the times of the storms we needed them. Everybody else was out trying to protect their property and city employees were also out on the streets trying to help them do the same thing and a lot of time at the expense of their own damage. That's one of the reasons we felt so strong about giving them a raise this year."
Besides a pay increase for employees, Shell said the only other major increase in the new budget, which jumped from $5,433,850 during the fiscal year 2004-2005 to $6,063,500 for 2005-2006, was due to sales, lodging and gasoline taxes, business licenses and building permits. Taxes and permits are up due to influx of workers and contractors in Atmore due to the hurricanes.
"A large part of the additional funds that we've got will go toward paying for the clean up of Hurricane Dennis because it was not a 100 percent paid for project, so that's where the biggest part of it will go," Shell said.
In other business, the council:
"It is certainly with deep regret that I have to read this letter, but Bishop called and I had a lengthy conversation with him and I certainly understand," Shell said. "He has served diligently over the years and has been a very faithful supporter of the library for a number of years."
"The only problem we had once before with Horner Street was a severe traffic problem in the residential area as far as haunted houses go," public safety director Glenn Carley said. "I don't have a problem with a benefit, but it gets congested very, very quickly and we would rather have it at a place where there is adequate parking."
Shell agreed to reconsider the request if another location with parking was used for the haunted house.

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