Months of meetings and workshops officially ended Tuesday when the Minden City Council voted to adopt its $37.5 million operating budget for 2022-23, a figure that features pay raises for employees including police officers, firefighters and city officials.
Vote for approval of the budget was 3-1, and it was a group included in those raises that apparently caused one council member to cast an opposing vote.
In a prepared statement explaining her negative vote, District E councilperson Pam Bloxom said the council “…asked many of our city departments to delay projects and purchases of major equipment. Those department heads agreed and now the projects and purchases are delayed for the new council to address.”
But, Bloxom said, despite the freeze during budget talks, “…this council had no hesitation in allowing a 4 percent pay raise for the Mayor, police chief and city council to kick in beginning January 1, 2023.
Bloxom said Minden city council members are paid $1,200 monthly while Webster Parish police jury members receive $1,100 monthly and school board members’ compensation is $600 monthly. “Our councilmen receive the largest compensation and represent the fewest constituents,” she added.
Based on actions of the past four years, Bloxom also suggested an ordinance or provision mandating that council persons must be in attendance at regular meetings before receiving pay.
Also during Tuesday’s meeting, council members:
• adopted a resolution agreeing to a lease purchase agreement to finance a street sweeper.
• adopted a resolution for an agreement with the state DOTD for improvements at the Minden airport.
• adopted resolution approving the Residential Antidisplacement and Relocation Assistance Plan for the Louisiana Community Development Block Grant Program.
• agreed to allocate funds for an outdoor fitness court.
• granted authority to enter into a contract with KSA for engineering consulting services for proposed work at the Minden airport.
• accepted budget and finance reports, plus accepted police report for month of July.
• gave special recognition to members and coaches of 2022 Dixie Ponytails softball, Dixie Angels softball and Dixie 11U baseball All-Stars (could not attend).
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