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Budget includes 1 percent raise for city workers

No objections were heard Thursday during a public hearing for the city of Thomson's 2012 budget.

The budget includes an across-the-board, 1 percent cost-of-living raise for city employees. That increase will go into effect at the beginning of the year.

The budget also allows another 1 percent that can be awarded as merit raises.

Mayor Kenneth Usry said there is no flex room in the budget. "We are tight, but we feel like our employees are our No. 1 asset," he said.

The millage remains constant, at 5.399. Officials said the budget does not anticipate additional employees.

The budget now needs final approval from the full council, which meets at 6:30 tonight.

The total budget is $19,995,476.

Usry noted that more than half of that figure is in the Gas Fund, with projected operating costs of $10,221,661, and capital costs of $333,000.

City administrator Don Powers said observers expect wholesale gas prices to remain stable next year.

The General Fund totals $3,762,303. That fund includes administration, police, fire services, street department operating costs, code enforcement, and the city's portion of shared city-county services.

Another $4,058,959 of the total is in the Water and Sewer Fund, and $1,406,268 is in the Solid Waste Fund.

The city's share operating costs for the new Thomson-McDuffie Government Center could change. The city has agreed to pay 18 percent of operating costs, based on the area that city services occupy in the building. But costs of operating the new center could only be estimated. Several officials have said that amount will be better established after a few months in the new center.

The document is the result of months of work by city officials and department heads.

Web posted on Thursday, September 08, 2011

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