Valley council approves 3% cost of living adjustment

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, September 13, 2023

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VALLEY — The Valley City Council has approved a three percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) for the upcoming fiscal year. The action was recommended by Mayor Leonard Riley at the council’s Monday evening meeting and unanimously approved by the council. The raise covers both the city’s 78 full-time employees and 23 part-time workers. The raise will be effective with the city’s Dec. 7 payroll.

The raise will be included in the departmental budgets for the city’s 2023-24 fiscal year budget, which should go into effect on Oct. 1. The council discussed a proposed budget in a recent work session and is scheduled to approve it at the Sept. 25 council meeting.

This raise will cost the city an estimated $135,000 in next year’s budget.

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City employees have had annual raises every year Riley has been mayor. He has been mayor since 2012 and is currently in his third term.

In other action on Monday, the council unanimously approved an 11-item consent agenda. The items included a budget amendment for Valley Police Department, the declaration of three VPD vehicles and two Valley Parks & Recreation mowers as surplus property, a lien on a lot of 49th Street and weed liens on seven different sites in the city.

The budget amendment for the police department covers the cost of installing some needed accessories for patrol cars. This was acquired for $16,000.

The surplus property includes three VPD Ford Explorers and two VPR mowers. The Explorers include one from 2016 and two from 2018. They have been sold to Ringwood Motors Inc. for a total of $3,240. The two mowers, a 2015 Jacobsen Tri King and a 2015 Jacobsen Groom Master 2, can be sold according to existing municipal policy and state law. They will likely be going to a high bidder.

The lien on 49th Street has been imposed to recover the city’s cost of cleaning up the site. This comes to a little less than $815.

The weed liens that were approved are all less than $200 and have been imposed on lots on Spring Street, Richmond Street, 21st Avenue, California Road, 55th Street and River Road.

Council Member Jim Clark asked if there was a problem with the city’s limb truck. He said there hadn’t been any pickups recently in his district.

“I saw it out on the road today,” said Council Member Jim Jones.

Council Member Randall Maddux asked everyone to always remember what happened on 9-11. Monday was the 22nd anniversary of that terrible day in New York City, Washington D.C. and rural Pennsylvania.

“Let’s especially remember the first responders who died that day,” Maddux said. “Without hesitation. they did what they had to do to help save lives.”