GONZALES — The 1 percent pay raise for Gonzales city employees may become a 2 percent raise if the City Council adopts the general fund budget as proposed for the fiscal year that begins June 1.
The council on Monday discussed the proposed budget and will vote on it at its April 25 meeting.
Councilman Neal Bourque made a motion, seconded by Councilman Harold Stewart, that a 2 percent pay raise for employees be included in the $15.2 million general fund budget plan.
The motion passed unanimously without discussion.
The general fund budget pays for personnel and the operations of the Fire Department, Police Department, sanitation, streets and drainage and recreation facilities.
The year’s budget comes in about 3 percent higher than last year’s.
The council also will be voting on a proposal to discontinue the practice of paying a $200 monthly stipend to all retirees once they reach the age of 65, but grandfathering-in those who have been receiving the stipend.
The cost of the stipend to the city has been more than $50,000 yearly, City Clerk Clay Stafford said in his report to the council, and he and his staff are recommending the city discontinue it for new retirees at the end of 2016.
All retirees receiving the benefit on Dec. 31, 2016,or having turned 65 by that date will continue to receive the stipend.
The city also is looking at increasing employees’ monthly health insurance premiums by $50 per month. That would bring a 3.54 percent increase in the city’s health insurance budget, from about $1.53 million last year to $1.58 million for the coming fiscal year.
The city’s proposed capital outlay budget of about $8.8 million, down from $10.6 million last year, includes about $3.5 million in wastewater projects, $2.4 million in road projects and $850,000 in water and gas projects.
On Monday, the City Council also voted to introduce a new zoning code to replace the current one, Chapter 22 of the city code.
Developed by the Center for Planning Excellence of Baton Rouge, the new zoning code also will be voted on at the council’s next meeting.