By STEVE SWOGETINSKY
All current city employees received a $1.25 per hour pay increase effective Oct. 5 after the Mayor and Board of Aldermen during last Tuesday’s meeting approved the raises that were included in the Fiscal Year 2022 budget.
Aldermen also discussed when the raises would go into effect for new hires and probationary employees who are now on the payroll.
First, aldermen established that anyone coming to work for the city would be a probationary employee for 90 days. After 90 days, they would receive the $1.25 increase.
Ward 1 Alderman Justin Clearman said current employees, regardless of their length of service, should receive the raises as of Oct. 5, the day of the meeting.
“We just came up with this,” Clearman said. “As of Oct. 5, I would say any new hire would have to wait 90 days before they get the $1.25 raise. Anyone hired before today will go ahead and get their $1.25 raise.”
The board voted to approve the motion.
In other matters, aldermen voted to:
• Approve the claims docket on a 4-1 vote with alderman Justin Clearman voting no.
• Approve a proclamation setting Saturday, Oct. 30, as the night for Trick or Treating in the city.
• Approve hiring Josh Ladd to work in the Streets Department at $12 per hour.
• Approve a request to close parking on Byrd Avenue from the Ellis Theater to Main Street to make room for construction work on the theater.
• Approve a request to close parking in front of the old Super 10 building next to the Justice Court building for roof work. It will only be closed during working hours.
• Approve promoting Patrick Gray to foreman of the Street Department at the salary of $20 per hour. He replaces the retiring Rex Savell. Nick Crockett was named the assistant foreman.
• Approve for an employee to attend a rubbish site operator course in Jackson to prepare him to test for certification. This covers travel and hotel. There is no cost for the course.
• Approve the hiring of Tyler McKee as a probationary fireman at $11 per hour.
Ward 2 Alderman Jim Fulton told Police Chief Eric Lyons he noticed three Philadelphia policemen with patrol cars at the Neshoba Central football game on Oct. 1. Chief Lyons said he was aware they were there. He said they were working as security guards for the Neshoba County School District. He also explained those officers were on duty for the city the next day. They are allowed to take police cars home the night before a shift.
The mayor gave an update on the progress of improvements on Parkside Drive. The Street Department has put more gravel and slag on the road. It was recommended not to put a motor grader on it at this time.