The El Dorado Springs City Council passed their 2012 – 2013 budget for $9,409,877 at their meeting on Monday, Sept 24.
Councilmen Jerry Friar, Gene Floyd, Randy Bland and Jerry Baldwin were present as were Mayor Brad True, City Manager Bruce Roger and City Clerk Lisa Allison.
The budget passed on a four to one vote for both readings. Floyd was the dissenting vote.
True asked Floyd what his objection to the budget was.
Floyd said he had misgivings about the 2.5% cost of living raise. He said he believed that they went hand-in-hand with the merit raises that he said he didn’t know anything about.
Rogers said that he had talked about the merit raises that are given in March.
“A merit raise is a step increase. We didn’t give any last year. I told you we put aside funds in General Revenue for merit raises,” Rogers said.
He said that the merit raises are about 2%. Department heads recommend employees for merit raises based on their evaluation. Merit increases are awarded to no more than 25% of the employees and are not based on seniority.
Floyd said, “I don’t like merit raises. I’m not complaining about the employees, I’m not comfortable with it as they all work hard.”
Rogers replied that only the top employees get merit raises and it should inspire others to do better.
Rogers said that the budget included the $400,000 airport grant.
The council approved an ordinance on the first and second reading to purchase a new dump truck for the street department. The low bidder was Liberty Bank at 2.34% for five years. The dump truck costs $51,700.
During the city manager report, Rogers said the airport bids were opened and the low bidder was concerned about the low temperatures at night for the project this fall. The contractor agreed to extend the bid price into next spring.
Rogers said that the water tower project was at least 90% complete and the contractor may finish it this week.
He also said that the bid opening for the detention basin is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17.
Referring to the sound of children’s voices in the room next to the council chambers, Rogers reported that there were 52 kids enrolled in gymnastics/tumbling classes this season, up from approximately 30 last year.
Rogers said that the brush clean up on E. Twyman is progressing.
Floyd said that he would check on the status of the signs downtown. True said that he was pretty sure that some of the signs will be removed.
Rogers commented that the recycling bins behind Evans had been removed. He said that he is planning to make contact with Bates County about recycling pick-up and that Evans has offered to help offset of the cost of the bins to get them back.