Frings proposes to increase fire, police pay

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Alabaster Mayor David Frings has proposed a 10 percent temporary hazardous duty pay increase for fire and police personnel to help stem the tide of employees leaving for other cities.

He has also proposed that the city pick up the recent near $28-per-pay period insurance premium increase from the state for city employees. He said the nearly $58 per month hike in premiums amounts to a 2.5 percent decrease in salary for entry level police and fire personnel.

Frings also offered solutions as to where the money for both the insurance premium pay and salary will come from.

According to Frings, the city received $144,128 over anticipated revenues in the past six months.

He said the city has 57 employees and seven retired personnel, and the cost

to absorb the family coverage will be $44,545 per year. He said that money can come from non-budgeted revenue increases.

According to Frings, last year, the council was unable to absorb a $100 premium increase for employees.

Frings said Alabaster starts police officers at some $28,628. He said Hoover starts police officers at $36,661. He said compared to Helena, Pelham, Calera, Hoover, Vestavia, Homewood, Shelby County and Trussville, Alabaster is &uot;consistently lower.&uot;

Frings said the city has had to put code enforcers back on patrol as three employees have left the Police Department.

Frings estimated the cost of the pay increase for police and fire personnel at some $363,292 for one year. When asked where the funding will come from, Frings said the city has received the surprise amount of some $389,747 in excise tax

and will receive a 10 percent increase, or $129,000, from the county for projects.

Councilmember Jim McClain suggested the mayor’s request be addressed during a work session.

He said he would like to see the increase rolled into separate budgets.

Walters added that with benefits, the increases in pay would cost the city about $500,000.

Councilmember Michael Sherwood said he would like to see a decision by the end of the month.

In other business, another Alabaster park has been named. The park located beside Fire Station No. 2 will now be known as Heroes Park in honor of police and fire personnel.

In still other matters, the council:

* Approved an ordinance to adopt new business and marketing by-laws.

* Approved the bid of D.A. Utilities for turn lanes at Veterans Park in the amount of $127,172. McClain said the city sought to encourage more bids but ended up with one bid.

* Set a public hearing for Oct. 4 for a rezoning request for 127 acres from agricultural to B-3 (community business) for Shelby Land Partners. Ryals said this is the balance of the land at the new Interstate-65 Exit 238 shopping center, excluding a church.

* Set a public hearing for Oct. 4 for a request to rezone some 42 acres from agricultural to institutional for Westwood Baptist Church.

* Set a public hearing for Oct. 18 for a request to rezone almost an acre from municipal reserve to community business for Rick Nail, LBYD INC. at Highway 119 and County Road 26.

* Approved a request to let the Park and Recreation Board purchase soccer goals at a cost of up to $3,000. The goals are for a new field for a new league which was slated to begin its season on Sept. 11.

* Approved the bid purchase price for two vehicles, a 2004 Ford truck for some $16,165 and a 2003 Ford Crown Victoria at $15,248.

* Announced a meeting at 10:30 a.m. today to canvas runoff election results.

* Approved the letting of bids for lawn services to be included in next year’s budget.

* Set a work session for Sept. 16 at 6 p.m