Spencer budget includes longevity pay change
By Rebecca Rider
SPENCER — Town of Spencer employees could receive a 2 percent salary increase beginning in the 2017-18 budget year.
The adjustment is included in the town’s proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year, which rounds out at $3.1 million.
Also included is a change in longevity pay schedule for town employees. Should it be approved, employees with one to 10 years of employment with the town will receive an annual longevity payment of 2 percent of their base salary. Those with 10 to 20 years employment will receive 3 percent, and those with 20 or more years will receive 4 percent.
The Fire Department would use the current longevity pay schedule, as its scheduling would not support the proposed change.
Town Manager Reid Walters said that the town budget usually hovers around $2.6 million, but it’s higher this year due to storm water and street repairs along Fourth Street. Nearly $400,000 has been placed in capital outlay to cover the cost of the project — funded by the N.C. General Assembly and the N.C. Department of Transportation — which has caused a significant hike in the proposed 2017-18 budget.
The Spencer Police Department has requested the purchase of a new vehicle with an in-car camera. According to town documents, the vehicle would cost $33,000. The department also applied for a $25,000 grant to purchase new weapons. Walters said police have received tentative approval of the grant.
Walters also reported staffing changes with the Spencer Fire Department, which will switch to a combination of full- and part-time staffing for the weekends to handle increased call volume. The proposed budget also includes the cost and up-fit for a ladder truck, purchased from Salisbury, for $45,000.
The budget also includes appropriating a total $110,000 from the general fund to purchase a backhoe for $85,000 and a street sweeper for $25,000. According to town documents, Spencer’s current backhoe is 19 years old and in need of bucket repair.
The town has also proposed an “after the fact” fee. Should the increase be approved, residents who begin a project before getting required permits will have to pay an increased fee to do so. A zoning permit would cost $125, instead of the current $20, for example.
According to town documents, the intent is to encourage residents to get appropriate permits and permissions before beginning work.
Should it be approved, the “after the fact” fees will be as follows:
- Zoning permit: $125
- Zoning permit for fences: $50
- Certificate of appropriateness: $250
- Dumpster permit: $50
The addition of Powell Bill funds brings the total proposed budget to $3.2 million. A public hearing will be held Monday, June 26, at 6 p.m. in Town Hall, 600 S. Salisbury Ave.
Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264.
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