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City commission approves Cares Act expenditures

City Manager Marty Mangum said the city received $112,068 from the federal CARES Act to deal with Covid-19. He said 25 percent of could be used for projects. he presented three projects — an access control/intrusion system at City Hall, at a cost of $7,472; the purchase of two metal detectors/Covid thermometer units for use at the police station and the municipal court for between $6,800 and $9,720 — price depending on if they choose ones with facial recognition software; and equipment for teleconferencing at City Hall, for $10,960 which includes screens, web cams, and a computer. All three purchases were unanimously approved during a meeting of the City Commission on Tuesday, July 28.

The commission, on a motion from Justin Marsh approved giving hazard pay to the city’s police officers, fire and EMS personnel. Mangum said 75 percent of the CARES Act money needed to go towards personnel expenses. He proposed giving each emergency worker a $2,000 per employee, per year hazard pay. Marsh asked Mangum if he saw any downside to giving the money to the employees.

Mangum said no. Marsh’s motion was unanimously approved.

In a budget workshop at the end of the meeting,  Mangum said that he also was proposing that the $2,000 a year pay increase for first responders become permanent — but that would need to happen when the commission approve the budget for the next fiscal year. he also said he was proposing a 2 percent pay increase for all city employees– and that was on top of the 2,000 increase for first responders.

More action from the meeting is in the July 29 print and online edition.

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