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City of Valley employees receive raise

VALLEY — Valley city employees will be getting raises this fall. Full-time employees will be getting three percent cost of living adjustments and part-time employees two percent COLAs, effective Oct. 15.

The action was approved in the Monday meeting of the city council after it had been previously been discussed at Thursday’s work session. The raises will, in part, cover the increasing cost to the city of retirements.

“We don’t have a clue what this virus will do and where this recession goes,” Mayor Leonard Riley said Thursday, “but if our revenue holds up, I think a three percent raise will be in line for next year.”

The city cleared over $700,000 in sales tax in June and July and could top the all-time monthly record for sales tax this month.

The virus is apparently spooking people from showing up for job interviews. Police Chief Tommy Weldon said he was excited to receive a total of 29 applications for an open position with Valley Police Depart

ment, but only three of them showed up for a physical test and only one of them passed. “As Forrest Gump said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re gonna get,’” Weldon said.

Public Works Director Patrick Bolt said he’d had a similar problem. Five people applied for a recent opening in his department, but only one of them showed up for an interview.

Valley Parks & Recreation Director Laurie Blount is inviting everyone to cool off from a hot August afternoon by getting a free slice of watermelon at the annual Free Watermelon Day at Valley Farmer’s Market. It will be taking place from 3 to 6 p.m. EDT on Friday.

Blount said that VPR finished a successful swimming season this week with 25 swimmers taking part. The winter swim season begins soon.

“We’re also excited about Valley High having a swim team participating this year at the Community Center,” she said. “We are seeing more participation at the Community Center, and we are glad to see that.”

Planning & Development Director Travis Carter told the council that enumerators for the U.S. Census will be going out in the field this week and urged Valley residents to cooperate with them if they have yet to be counted.

“We have seven weeks left before we are through with it,” he said. “If an enumerator approaches you, let them help you fill out a census form. They won’t enter your house; they will speak to you from six feet away. We need to count every person we can. Alabama is on the verge of losing a congressional seat, and we don’t want to do that.”

Carter encouraged Fairfax community residents to attend a public meeting to be held at the new East Alabama fire station in Fairfax at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

“We will be talking about the mill cleanup, and we will be taking a walking tour of the site,” he said.

People are encouraged to wear safety shoes and be careful where they step.

Council Member Henry Cooper said that he’d talked by phone with Council Member Jim Clark, who is recovering from COVID-19.

“Let’s keep him in our prayers,” he said. “He’s in good spirits and asked me to keep everybody straight.”

Council Member Jimmy Gilson said the city is still having problems with litter on the streets and cited 24th Street as an example.

Mayor Leonard Riley appointed Tamara Johnston to the city’s planning committee. He also called for public hearings at the Aug. 24 council meeting to consider rezoning some property on Myhand Street and to confirm abatement costs for two properties on 55th Street.

Election officers were announced for the Aug. 25 city election, which will be taking place at the Community Center.

Charlene Atkinson and Mershelia Winston are the chief inspectors. For District One, Lessie Beck is the registration list clerk, Mary Ann Siggers the poll list clerk and Jimmie Siggers the ballot clerk. In District Two, Jane McKenzie is the registration list clerk, Linda Butts the poll list clerk and Charles Pigg the ballot clerk. Matt Hudmom and Angela Wimberly are the alternates.