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City Council Approves $200K Decision to Raise City Employee Salaries
By JOSH BERRY | firstname.lastname@example.org
BENTON, AR - With the fate of city employee salaries in their hands, the Benton City Council this week made a decision to bump the pay of all non-elected employees.
It's a move worth nearly $200K and the Mayor says the city had the money to spend.
There are 165 people that serve the City of Benton in some capacity. All positions but 35 are public safety including 9-1-1, Police, Fire and Animal Control. They are all getting a 4.1% salary increase following a Monday (7/14) night vote by the City Council.
The ball started rolling on this plan in 2013 when the public approved a half-cent public safety tax that would help hire more personnel.
Benton Mayor David Mattingly says the ability to provide the raise comes from the city operating fiscally and with a surplus of funds.
Employees in Benton haven't had a raise since 2012.
"If you forget all the people on the team who are making it happen that's when you get the lowest morale and then you get problems," Mattingly said. "We're just not going to let that happen."
The raise also incorporates Streets, Parks and Recreation positions.
It does not include elected officials like the Mayor.
The vote passed 9-1. The single "no" vote was as a result of an absent city council member.