Although it came with resistance, the fiscal year 2012-13 budget for the City of Greenfield passed on its first reading Tuesday evening. After a vote by the board of mayor and aldermen, with four aldermen voting for the budget and four voting against the budget, Greenfield Mayor Eddie McKelvy broke the tie and pushed the measure through.
Within the budget is a 3.6 percent COLA increase for all city workers, as well as a 35-cent property tax increase. As Greenfield City Recorder Randy Potts explained, in March of last year, board members voted to grant city employees a raise each year for the next six years.
Also included in that measure was a COLA increase, only if Social Security recipients across the nation were granted a COLA increase. For the first time in several years, Social Security recipients received a COLA increase.
Potts said the pay scales of city employees are set up on a tier system. Those who made $46,000-plus based on the previous year’s W-2, are classified under a Tier 1. Those earning between $36,000 and $45,999 are a Tier 2; $26,000-$35,999 are classified as Tier 3 and those earning up to $25,999 are Tier 4.
Employees would be granted raises based on their tier level each year. Tier 1 employees would not receive a raise. Tier 2 would receive a one percent raise. Tier 3 would receive a two percent raise and Tier 4 would receive a three percent raise.
This percentage is in addition to a 3.6 percent COLA increase, with the total percentage not to exceed five percent (combining the COLA and pay raise).
Potts said this action was taken by board members last year to help close the gap between Tier 1 and Tier 4-level employees.
The City of Greenfield’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year also includes a 35 cent property tax increase. As there had not been a property tax increase in the city for the last 10 years, board members are considering a city property tax increase from $1.25 per $100 of assessed vale of property to $1.60 per $100 of assessed value of property.
The budget also includes an increase from $37.30 for water/gas/sewer each month to $40 each month with a 3,000 gallon minimum of water usage.
Potts said he was actually the proponent of the bill as other cities have a 2,000 gallon minimum, Greenfield’s 3,000 gallon minimum helps those who are living on a fixed income.
Board members also considered a resolution Tuesday evening to accept a 2011 Assistance to Firefighters Grant for $154,375 for assistance in financing the purchase of a fire truck for the Greenfield Fire Department.
The cost of the truck is $282,217 from Pierce Manufacturing.
Potts explained the remainder of the cost of the purchase would come from the rural fire fees paid by those living outside of the city limits.
Greenfield’s rural fire fee is $75. The funds taken from the rural fire fees for the next five years are earmarked to help pay for the fire truck. The truck’s main purpose would be to handle fire calls outside of the city’s limits, but it would also be used for fire calls within the city. Tuesday was only the first reading of Greenfield’s budget ordinance.
The board of mayor and aldermen will vote on the projected budget again at its next monthly meeting May 8 at 5:30 p.m. in Greenfield City Hall.