Livingston’s Board of Aldermen approved the first reading of the city’s new budget Monday evening.
City Mayor Curtis Hayes said the budget keeps property taxes the same but does come with a water rate increase.
“There is unfortunately a 10-percent water increase given to a bond issue where we were running water to Hilham to be able to supply the demand,” Hayes said. “There is some sewer rehab that’s in desperate need, so that takes care of that.”
On the other hand, the new budget includes nearly $15,000 in raises for city employees along with a pay scale based on experience. The budget also includes increases in hourly wages for city police officers totaling $47,000.
Hayes said the increases were much needed following the results of a Municipal Technical Advisory Service (MTAS) wage study.
“After some strong debate last year and some debate during some of our city council meetings this year, we felt that it was time to get our city employees out of poverty,” Hayes said, “and have a good work place, have a place they want to go to work and are proud of, and can put food on the table for their family.”
The new budget projects roughly $37,000 in additional sales tax revenue. However, Hayes notes that amount should increase significantly with three new businesses opening recently in Livingston.
Aldermen voted 4-0 in favor of passing the budget with Vice Mayor Bill Winningham and Alderman David Langford absent from the meeting.
The aldermen will consider approving the budget on second reading Tuesday, June 25 at 5 p.m. inside city hall.