Keller city officials plan for a 3 percent employee raise

Posted Tuesday, Jul. 02, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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No tax increase, no water/waste-water increase and a pay raise for employees are proposals laid out during a Fiscal Year 2013-2014 budget workshop.

The news sounds promising, but with personnel costs outpacing the increase in revenues, city officials are faced with a challenge in planning the next budget.

During the June 28 meeting, officials proposed to spend nearly $2 million on personnel including a 3 percent merit raise, market adjustments, personnel upgrades and additional employees.

The 3 percent merit pay raise, given to employees that achieve an acceptable rating on their performance evaluation, is 1 percent higher than employees received last year but the 2013-2014 proposal did not include the $1,000 lump sum stipend like the one awarded last year.

City Manager Steve Polasek said the pay raises are something city officials expected. Healthcare costs, however, are higher than anticipated.

“This is a challenging budget this year. It’s daunting,” Polasek said. “Primarily because of the health care costs.”

Carolyn Nivens, director of human resources, said city officials were waiting on a bid with an exact number of the increase but predicted it to be about 25 percent, an equivalent of $793,000.

Proposed new positions include a community development planner, economic development director and parks and recreation construction manager.

New positions proposed in the police department include an animal adoption coordinator, detention officer and three part-time kennel technicians, with regional cities paying a portion of the costs.

In August, staff will hold another budget workshop for council. The budget will be adopted in September.

Susan McFarland, 817-390-7547 Twitter: @susanmcfarland1

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