Harrisburg Council approves raises for city employees
Among the items the Harrisburg City Council approved this month was a $1 raise for all city employees. Mayor Justin Kimble presented the council with proposals for a three percent, five percent, and $1 an hour raise--with the $1 coming to about a six percent raise.
Mayor Kimble told the council that the new tax money that was going toward the police and fire departments alleviates some of the money in the budget. He also said that after this raise, he would like to do merit-based raises with evaluations going forward. The council approved the $1 an hour raise, which will go into effect on the last payroll in April.
The council also passed an ordinance waiving competitive bidding to purchase a used fire truck. The fire department has a 1974 fire truck with mechanical problems. This will be replaced with a used 2006 Pierce fire truck custom cab pumper for $85,000. The 2006 truck has 71,000 miles on it, a four-man crew cab, and is a pumper rescue, so it has a place in the back for medical equipment. The truck will be purchased through Emergency Vehicle Specialists. Harrisburg has been on a waiting for two years and will pay ten percent down to hold it until it becomes available in December. The truck is currently still in use with the Jonesboro Fire Department now. Then, it will be paid off by December 2020 using tax money going toward the fire department.
In other business, Police Chief Roderick Moore introduced his officers to the city council. Chief Moore said one of his goals as chief is to bring community relationships with the police back to Harrisburg. He said officers have also gotten their response times down and will do 48 hours of in-service training this year, which is twice what the state requires. He also said that Harrisburg Police Department now has officers working 24/7 every day of the week, which wasn't the case for a while.
Chief Moore and Mayor Kimble have also met with the school board regarding getting a School Resource Officer on the Harrisburg campuses. The mayor gave the city council a copy of the SRO agreement given to the school board to look over, and the school board is expected to vote on it next month.
In other business, the council:
*approved a resolution purchasing property at the fairgrounds from the county at $1 to construct a community building on.
*approved an ordinance rezoning five lots of property at 511 Foch Street and 512 W. Estes from Residential Mobile Home (RMH) to Residential-2 (R-2).