Mayor Alt eyes pay raise for Elkton em­ploy­ees


bshea@ ce­cil­whig. com

— As the days wind down un­til Mayor Rob Alt re­leases his bud-


get pro­posal to the public, he re­cently an­nounced that he is pre­pared to pro­pose a 3 per­cent pay raise for all non- law en­force­ment town em­ploy- ees while also hold­ing the prop­erty tax rate.

The mayor’s pro­posed fis­cal year 2017 bud­get will be re­leased to the public on Fri­day, just five days be­fore the town’s sched­uled public hear­ing on the bud­get. The Town Board of Com­mis­sion­ers have the abil­ity to cut Alt’s pro­posal, but not add to it prior to its sched­uled con- sider­a­tion on June 1.

At their May 11 work ses­sion, the board went line- item- by- line- item dis­cussing all depart­men­tal re­quests ahead of the mayor’s fi­nal pro­posal.

Alt noted if all of the depart­men­tal re­quests were ap­proved, the 2017 fis­cal year bud­get would be $22,000 larger than last year’s $13.3 mil­lion bud­get. The cap­i­tal re­quests from the de­part­ments amounts to $435,328, he added.

“Once again, this is just bring­ing ev­ery­thing to the ta­ble. This isn’t what I’m pro­ject­ing, but this is ev­ery­thing col­lec­tively to­gether,” Alt said.

As he pro­poses to re­tain the prop­erty tax at 0.5856 cents per $ 100 of as­sessed value, rather than the con­stant yield rate of 0.5873 cents per $ 100 as­sessed value, the town will for­feit some rev­enue. It would be the third con­sec­u­tive year with­out a tax in­crease if ap­proved. But Alt said the town is pro­jected to col­lect al­most $ 7.5 mil­lion in tax rev­enue this year, an in­crease of about $ 400,000 over what was bud­geted.

Among his bud­get pro­pos­als will be a 3 per­cent pay raise for all non- law en­force­ment town em- ploy­ees — the first such cost- of- liv­ing ad­just­ment for town em­ploy­ees since 2012. Of­fi­cers with the Elkton Po­lice Depart­ment will not re­ceive pay in­creases in the fi­nal year of a four- year con­tract as bar­gained by the Elkton Fra­ter­nal Or­der of Po­lice Lodge No. 124.

Alt will bud­get for 45 sworn po­lice of­fi­cers in the up­com­ing bud­get, the same as last year, de­spite car­ry­ing eight open po­si­tions in the past two years. Po­lice of­fi­cials have said that a lack of qual­i­fied can­di­dates has led to a dif­fi­culty in hir­ing for the po­si­tions. While the po­lice depart­ment has re­quested $ 344,328 in cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­tures for six new po­lice ve­hi­cles and equip­ment, such as a com­puter voice stress anal­y­sis de­vice, Alt may be cut­ting back in his pro­posal.

He told the board he is in fa­vor of the live scan fin­ger­print sta­tion and the com­puter voice stress anal­y­sis de­vice equip­ment, which amount to about $ 35,000, but would like to hold off on pur­chas­ing the new ve­hi­cles next fis­cal year. This fis­cal year, nine po­lice ve­hi­cles were pur­chased to phase out older noted.

Some of the com­mis­sion­ers had con­cerns about not re­plac­ing the ve­hi­cles though.

Com­mis­sioner Mary Jo Jablon­ski said that if the board were to skip this year’s ve­hi­cle re­quest, she did not want to see it put aside. Com­mis­sion­ers Earl Piner and Charles Givens, who have been en­dorsed by the Elkton FOP lodge in their re- elec­tion race, agreed and added that the depart­ment should have the equip­ment they need to do their jobs.

“We need to try to ad­here to the re­quest,” Givens said about the need for new ve­hi­cles.

Alt said he sup­ports the public works depart­ment’s re­quest for $ 89,000 in cap­i­tal ex­pen­di­tures in­clud­ing a util­ity task ve­hi­cle, also known as a Ga­tor, three zero- turn lawn­mow­ers and shop equip­ment such as an 8- ton lift, tire bal­ancers, tire changer and an auto re­frig­er­ant re­cov­ery sys­tem. The depart­ment is also re­quest­ing four ad­di­tional em­ploy­ees for the town’s wa­ter ser vices, two for its sewer ser­vices and one for its side­walk re­pair crew.



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