Laurel City officials at odds over city employee raises

Laurel City officials at odds over city employee raises

LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - City officials In Laurel are still at odds over raises for city workers.

Council members Tony Wheat and Manuel Jones said there is not enough money in the budget for employee raises, even though it was approved in the budget for the upcoming fiscal year.

A few weeks ago, the city council passed a bond issue to fix city streets, and included in that bond issue was a tax increase of 2.85 mills.  Half of the amount of the tax increase was supposed to go into the general fund to pay for the raise.

However, at a city council meeting on Monday, council members voted to use that money to pay off debts.

City Finance director Mary Ann Hess said she was not instructed to remove the city raises from the new budget, so it is still there.

Mayor Johnny Magee said there is enough money for the raises.

"Everyone was moving so fast yesterday that they forgot to take care of the things they needed to take out. There is no order to take out the raise and until they make a motion to take it out, the raises will stay." Mayor Magee said in a statement.