Most Pelham employees to remain at current salaries

Nearly all Pelham city workers will remain on their current salaries throughout the 2011 budget year, after the City Council voted unanimously to accept certain portions of the Mercer salary study.

The vote came during an Aug. 16 meeting, during which the council voted to accept some portions of the salary study recently completed by the Mercer Company.

The 2011 budget year will run from Oct. 1, 2010-Sept. 30, 2011.

As a result of the resolution, the city will not eliminate any full-time employees, nor will it reduce any full-time employees’ salaries. All city employees will remain at their current salary, and full-time employees currently due a merit or step raise on the existing pay scale will receive them.

In the salary study, Mercer detailed two pay scale scenarios. One scenario would be at the 50th percentile, about 18 percent lower than Pelham’s current pay scale, and the second would be at the 75th percentile.

Because seven city employees currently make less than the lowest pay rate recommended by the Mercer study, the council agreed to raise those employees to the lowest step identified in the 50th percentile pay scale.

Passing the resolution will allow the city’s mayor and department heads to begin the budgeting process for the coming budget year, said Council President Mike Dickens.

“We are doing this solely for the mayor and the department heads to know exactly what the salaries are going to be as they plan for the 2011 budget,” Dickens said. “They are at where they’re at for budgeting reasons.”

Though council members voted to accept a few items outlined in the Mercer study for the 2011 budget year, they will continue to consider the study, and may modify city pay rates in the future, Dickens said.

“Going down the road, we can continue to evaluate it and see if we are going to adopt any other recommendations made in the study,” Dickens said. “But what we have before us tonight makes it as simple as anything we can do.”

In other business, the council:

– Voted to rezone property off Oak Mountain Park Road from an agricultural district to an estate residential district. The property owner, Jimmy Humphries, will attempt to divide and sell the land.

– Approved a special-events Alcoholic Beverage Control license for the Greater Shelby County Chamber of Commerce for the Taste of Shelby County event. The event will be held Sept. 23 at the Heart of Dixie Harley Davidson dealership off Alabama 119.

– Approved an additional $27,542 to be put toward the Oak Mountain bridge and bike trail project, bringing the total amount spent on the project to about $100,000. The city likely will be reimbursed for the project through an Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs grant.

– Voted to eliminate the full-time dishwasher/stocker position at the Pelham Civic Complex, and rescind the 3-percent commission based on gross food sales currently paid to city food service employees.

The employees will instead receive a 10-percent commission based on net food sales.

– Approved an off-premises retail beer and table wine license for the Pelham Exxon gas station on Shelby County 52.

– Accepted a $26,268.72 bid from Loader Services for a Bobcat 425MX Excavator for the Pelham Public Works Department.