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Hartselle passes largest budget with pay raises

By Deangelo McDaniel · 340-2469

HARTSELLE — The $9.7 million budget Hartselle passed is the largest in city history, but it contains no waste, city leaders said.

“There’s not a lot of fluff in this budget,” Mayor Dwight Tankersley said before Tuesday’s council meeting. “We’d like to have more revenue for city projects, but we don’t.”

The budget includes 3 percent raises for all employees, which will cost Hartselle about $199,451. It also includes a one-time cost-of-living adjustment for the city’s retired employees, estimated to cost between $8,000 and $12,000.

Early in the budget process, the council agreed not to add any employees in the budget.

This decision came after Fire Chief Steve Shelton’s request for four additional firefighters.

“We don’t deny that there may be a need; we just can’t afford it,” Council President Kenny Thompson said.

The budget does include $325,000 for a new Fire Department pumper truck.

Also, the council opted not to create senior-level positions for employees topping out.

A salary survey the council paid for about two years ago recommended the positions, but creating them would have meant no raises for employees, the council said.

As for nonprofit organizations, the council agreed to give them level funding. Hartselle is allocating $210,218 to 24 nonprofits.

The Hartselle Board of Education and Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce are the largest benefactors of nonprofit money. The school system will receive $54,000, but the city pays almost $1 million in bonds for schools and agreed to continue funding for the school resource officer.

The chamber’s appropriation will remain at $28,200.

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