SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) - Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler presented a budget proposal Tuesday that calls for a pay raise for most of the city's employees.
"One of the goals of this budget is the retention and recruitment of talented employees," the mayor said in a statement about the plan. "The budget also contains funding for the necessary resources that are essential for employees to perform their jobs in an effective manner."
The proposal includes a 5 percent pay increase for all employees who earn less than $75,000 a year, a move that would cost the city an additional $1.7 million a year. The city says consolidating positions and similar efficiencies created the money for these raises.
"Consequently a lot of our employees are doing more. And so we were able to take that year-long freeze not hiring for those non-critical positions and be able to try and show appreciation to the employees who have taken on the extra duty providing those services," said Mayor Tyler.
For civil service employees, it's a 2 percent longevity increase and an additional 3 percent raise on base pay, for a total increase of 5 percent, which will cost the city an additional $2.9 million annually.
The proposed budget also calls for $1 million dollars for 25 new police patrol units. An additional $100,000 dollars is also being requested for overtime patrols.
Fire and Police employees will also get back a clothing allowance deducted since 2014. That allowance will be $400 instead of the $200 they currently receive.
The proposed budget also calls for a million dollar aerial ladder truck for the Fire Department. The city will pay $600,000 of that will the rest coming from an insurance claim.
Other highlights of the proposed $491.4 million dollar operating budget include:
- Water and sewer repairs, in accordance with the Federal Government’s Consent Decree, will continue in 2018, with approximately $200 million in projects underway or expected to ramp up next year.
- The Streets Special Revenue fund remains intact, with “0” dollars being transferred to the General Fund in 2018. This will provide $8.3 million in continued street repairs throughout the city.
- In working to create more solvent retirement systems, the City will pay $831,800 in additional pension costs.
Tyler called the budget "conservative," saying she feels the city will actually bring in more revenue than projected.
"At the end, we hope we can show where the efficiencies are really working and that we're trying to make sure we're financially sound here in Shreveport," Tyler told the council.
A public hearing will be held on the budget on November 14th and council must approve a budget by December 15.