The Mobile City Council voted unanimously Friday to pass the city’s budget, adding in bonuses for certain employees and retirees. Councilors also delayed until next month a resolution that would add longevity pay for Mobile firefighters.
The council voted unanimously on a series of changes made by Councilman John Williams which would benefit the city’s Retirement Systems of Alabama retirees as well as retirees from the Mobile Police and Firefighters Pension Board. The funds for the bonuses will come from $760,000 taken from the city’s economic development incentives line item.
The changes would give the RSA retirees a bonus of less than $300, based on a formula mandated by state law, Williams said.
Police and Mobile department retirees receiving less than a $45,000 pension will now see a bonus of $500.
The council also unanimously approved an amendment introduced by Councilman Levon Manzie that would give a $400 bonus to the 1,328 city employees making less than $45,000 per year.
The funds for that bonus will be paid with $580,000 from the economic development incentives line item. In all the three bonuses will rely on more than $1.3 million in money previously designated for economic incentives typically used to lure industry and jobs into the city. The moves cut the $2.5 million in budgeted incentives in half, but Mayor Sandy Stimpson said it’s too early to tell if that will impact city plans going forward.
The council also approved a change that would take $55,000 from the city hall overhead line item and give it to the city clerk’s office to hire an administrative assistant, Williams said.
The City Council delayed until Oct. 24 a vote on longevity raises for firefighters. The longevity raises are expected to pass then and would go into effect in April. The raises would amount to a 2.5 percent raise for every five years of service up to 20 years.
The longevity pay for firefighters would raise the unfunded liability in the pension program by $5 million over the next five years, or $1 million per year.