The Fort Payne City Council was expected to make budget adjustments for the police and fire departments at Tuesday’s regular meeting. The pay modifications were discussed last week at a Council work session attended by Fort Payne Police Chief David Davis and Fire Chief Ron Saferite.
Many local companies are experiencing a challenging time finding employees right now, and Mayor Brian Baine said the move is expected to make it more appealing to stay on the job as a first responder in the city rather than leaving to work in another city for higher pay. The Council has also discussed bringing police and fire personnel pay closer to other departments.
The action will also bring their salaries into focus as the Council holds budget meetings, hoping to pass one before the start of the new fiscal year in October.
According to the agenda for yesterday’s meeting, the Council was also expected to discuss adjusting the budget for Glenwood Cemetery by $15,000 to add additional staff to better manage the graveyard property. Baine noted at the last meeting that he’d received a number of complaints from residents upset that the grass around the tombstones of their deceased family members had not been trimmed frequently enough this summer.
Heavy rains and the difficulty finding employees have made this more of a task than usual. So much so that the city temporarily assigned staff from other departments to try to meet the need for grounds keeping there, he said.
Although it may be unrelated to a planned executive session to discuss contract negotiations, the preliminary agenda included resolutions authorizing City Attorney Rocky Watson to file validation proceedings for the city’s obligations regarding Roy H. Drinkard, aka the Drinkard Development commercial real estate agency.
The agenda included possibly authorizing a memorandum of understanding and authorizing the issuance of a tax sharing agreement with the same. Preliminary Council meeting agendas are subject to change and the actual meeting was held after our press time Tuesday. More details from the meeting will appear in Saturday’s edition and on our website, times-journal.com.