According to Pell City Council City Manager Brian Muenger, the city’s revenues have “remained strong.”
“We’re running about 4 1/2 percent ahead of the previous year on expenditures, and significantly ahead of where our position was two years ago,” said Muenger at Monday’s regularly scheduled council meeting.
He said the departmental expenditures have increased because of the midyear salary adjustment, but that is something that has made a big difference in having a bigger pool of applicants in recruiting for new positions.
“There’s no bigger investment we have already than our people, and we have to give a quality salary,” said Muenger.
At this time, the budget includes step raises for all eligible employees, but does not include any cost-of-living adjustments. He said this is because there is an upcoming government economic development classification study. This study should provide a whole new pay scale to consider by the end of the month.
Within his tenure as city manager, this will be the most positions added in a fiscal year.
“We’ve exercised a lot of fiscal restraint for a number of years, but it’s all about the bottom line and making sure you’re delivering service level that you need, and now we’re comfortably at a spot where the council can make those decisions with confidence,” said Muenger.
In other business, the council also entered a budget agreement with central dispatch, the Emergency Management Agency and adult inmate housing for FY23.