“We’re looking to reduce payroll from 2013 to 2014 about eight to 10 percent,” Mayor Drew Gilbert told council members.
In the first year of Gilbert’s administration, payroll topped $608,000, an increase of approximately $69,000 over 2012.
The bulk of the increase came in the police department. One of the first actions taken by the council in 2012 was increasing the pay for full-time officers from $12 to $13 an hour to address a high turnover rate in the force.
The main savings in the plan approved Tuesday come from placing the street superintendent, police chief and assistant police chief on salary and eliminating most overtime for other employees.
The plan also includes performance evaluations of all city employees.
Employees who do well during a mid-year evaluation and in an annual review will be eligible for a pay increase of between three and five percent.
All employees will be graded on job knowledge, quality of work, punctuality, initiative and teamwork as well as several other criteria that will vary by department.
Evaluations will be performed by department supervisors and Gilbert. The council will have final approval of rate increases.
“This will allow us to be a little more fiscally conservative this year, which is probably going a bit tougher for us. Then as the grocery store revenue comes back and other developers build so that our revenue stream goes up, I’d like to allow performance incentives for the employees,” Gilbert said.
In other action, the council:
•accepted the resignation of District 5 representative Stephen Tidwell. Individuals wishing to fill the seat may submit an application at City Hall through Tuesday. Gilbert said a replacement could be named at the Feb. 25 meeting.
•approved a purchase agreement between the city and The Woda Group, an Ohio-based developer, for several parcels of land located on the corners of First Street and Mill Street.
The city will receive $5,000 for the property.
Long-term recovery manager Steve Ostaseski said the group needed a letter of intent in order to apply for new market tax credits.
“This will allow them to apply for tax credits in March to build 40 units of housing. If they do get awarded the tax credits, we still go back to the table with them and talk about the development and what it will look like,” Gilbert said.
According to its website, the Woda Group is experienced in high quality affordable housing.
•approved a business license for the local car wash to reopen under the management of Brett Thompson and Kenneth Nix.
•hired Cheyenne Triggs to be a part-time dispatcher.
•accepted a bid of $540 for a 1992 Honda Accord and $3,010 for a 2003 Chevrolet Avalanche. Both vehicles were seized by the police department in drug arrests and were declared to be surplus property by the council. Proceeds will go to the Cordova Police Department.
•approved the formation of a Teen Council, which will be composed of 12 students from Bankhead Middle School and Cordova High School. Council member Lauren Vance introduced the idea and will be overseeing the activities of the council.