Rainsville holds budget workshop

The Rainsville City Council held a budget workshop Monday night to discuss possible changes to the city’s fiscal year 2021-22 operating budget.

City Accountant Betty Holcomb briefed the council on the figures and adjustments made, taking into account the council's input and recommendations.

Holcomb said the 2021-22 budget saw a 5% increase in revenue.

She said the budget is looking good for the year despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Which she said mostly affected park-related events and the Tom Bevill Enrichment Center activities revenues.

“Those were the only things that went down but then again their expenditures went down too,” said Holcomb. “The rest, such as the tax revenue, have been steady or growing”

While discussing the surplus of the new fiscal year's budget, Mayor Rodger Lingerfelt proposed a 3% cost of living wage increase for city employees as part of their longevity and worker retention efforts.

He said the employees would get an extra .50 cent raise for those who have been with the city for five years and then would be as follows: 10 years - $1.00, 15 years - $1.50 and 20 years - $2.00.

Following a brief discussion, the councilman agreed that in order to keep their current staff, an increase in wages was essential.

Holcomb said if passed, the 3% increase would take effect on January 1, 2022.

The council also discussed the hiring of a fireman with funds allocated during the current year's budget. They likewise addressed several areas in need of modifying such as the city’s Christmas budget and repairs to a door and the parking lot of the Rainsville Library.

Concluding the workshop, Holcomb said adjustment for the additional $2,000 for the Rainsville Library, 3% raise and longevity would be made to the original budget.

No changes were approved during Monday night's budget workshop. Holcomb said “hard numbers” can be expected for the upcoming council meeting when proposed changes will be voted on.

The next council meeting is scheduled for Sept. 20, 2021.

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