Mineral plans to raise the minimum wage | Local

The City of Mineral considered raising the minimum wage for city employees to $ 15 an hour in the new fiscal year, but decided to follow the state’s progressive plan to increase wages.

On April 22, Council approved an increase for all Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles clerks and part-time maintenance staff to $ 15 an hour, and set that amount at the city’s minimum wage. The vote was 4-1, with Ed Kube opposed and Deputy Mayor Michael Warlick not present.

But councilors revisited the matter at their May 12 meeting and decided to support Kube’s motion to phase in wage increases in line with state-required minimum wage increases. Mayor Pam Harlowe voted to break the 3-3 tie.

As of May 1, the statewide minimum wage is $ 9.50 an hour. On Jan. 1, 2022, it will drop to $ 11 an hour, with further hikes slated to hit $ 15 an hour by Jan. 1, 2026.

In April, members also approved salary increases for the town clerk, town manager, chief maintenance worker and part-time cemetery keeper, who went 3-2 with Tom. Opposite Runnett and Roy McGehee. All salary increases would go into effect on July 1 with the start of the new fiscal year.

Kube objected to the May meeting, noting that the increases ranged from a 10 percent hike to a 28.4 percent pay hike.

“I think these are excessive, not because I don’t agree with what they might be, but as a one-time jump in those percentages,” he said.

Kube further expressed concern that fixing the increases would undermine the work of the city’s auditors, who are currently in the process of developing a pay scale and structure for the city.

The council voted to cancel the salary increases voted in April, the mayor having again voted with decision. Kube then proposed a 2% raise for all city employees on July 1, and then revisit the matter in six months to consider further salary increases based on the results of the auditors’ study. The motion failed.

Runnett then proposed a six percent increase for employees and for them to receive bonuses from DMV’s excess income. Both provisions would come into force on July 1.

“I appreciate our employees, but we have to remember who put us [on council]”Said Runnett. “We need to find a way to show our appreciation to employees and to show citizens that we are good stewards of their money.”

Ed Jarvis seconded the motion, which was carried 5-1. Dr William Thomas cast the dissenting vote.

The proposed budget for fiscal year 2022 shows an increase in income and expenditure in several areas for the next fiscal year. The biggest increase in revenue is expected to come from DMV Select. Since reopening in June 2020, the Mineral DMV has seen an increase in activity, bringing in more than $ 300,000 in revenue for the city, well above the $ 175,000 budgeted in last year. The proposed budget provides for $ 336,000 in DMV funds.

Another increase is planned with the new charges for water and sewer connections. The city is forecasting $ 60,000 in water connection costs (compared to $ 4,000) and $ 120,000 in sewer costs (compared to $ 8,000) for the coming year, in anticipation of several new real estate developments in the city. over the next year.

The proposed tax rates of 24 cents per $ 100 of assessed value (property tax) and 48 cents per $ 100 (property tax) remain the same over the next fiscal year.

Council will vote on a final budget at its regular business meeting on June 14.

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