Landrum approves one-time salary bonus for employees

Published 11:32 am Thursday, November 17, 2011

Landrum City Council voted 6-1 to give a one-time 3-percent salary bonus to the city’s employees.

City Administrator Steve Wolochowicz had suggested the increase during the budgeting process but council held off on approving the measure until after they saw end-of-the-year financial statements.

Wolochowicz said the city’s revenues came in 1 percent over what was anticipated, which meant Landrum was able to place $126,261 into its fund balance after last fiscal year. The total cost for the salary bonus, meanwhile, will be $14,590.

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Councilman Billy Inman voted against the move, saying he felt citizens would not understand the bonuses after past council decisions.

“It’s hard for me to justify a cost-of-living raise in a budget year when we just increased taxes,” Inman said.

Wolochowicz said the cost-of-living bonus would be a one-time boost and would not increase other payroll costs because it would not cause a need for changes in areas such as retirement.

Wolochowicz in fact has lowered the current budget year’s anticipated revenues to prepare for possible decreases in collection of revenue.

Since 2005, Wolochowicz said assets have increased steadily.

“I think considering the times we’ve been through, we’re doing great,” Mayor Robert Briggs said during a work session Nov. 8.

The city did go over expenditures for police fleet repairs, insurance, dead tree removal and workmen’s comp, Wolochowicz said, but other departments kept budgets tight. The fire department, for example, made extra efforts to apply for any grants possible, Wolochowicz said.

“I think most of the council felt that the fund balance increase had a lot to do with the staff working hard to trim their budgets,” he said. “Some of these folks haven’t had bonuses or salary increases since 2009.”