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S.C. approves 2.5 percent pay raise for most city employees




South Charleston City Council has approved a $21.5 million budget that includes a 2.5 percent pay raise for most city employees.

Mayor Frank Mullens said there is no increase in revenues for the budget that begins July 1.

However, the fact the city has paid off the bonds on the Little Creek Golf Course provided an opportunity to grant the pay raises.

Mullens said most fire and police department employees will get the 2.5 percent raise. He said the pay scale for those two departments has been altered to more closely resemble that of other city employees. The new budget also includes an increase for paving and it includes funds for several elections.

Mullens said, “There are not a whole lot of frills” in the new budget and it “is the exact same dollar amount as this year’s but we were still able to do those things.”

In other action Thursday evening:

* Council approved a bid of $311,627 by FieldTurf USA Inc. to install artificial turf on the Little League baseball field at Little Creek Park. Mullens said the city will pay FieldTurf an additional $10,000 to install a “SC” logo in the outfield.

The city had received one other bid. It was from ProGrass LLC of Pittsburgh, Pa., which bid $155,000 for site work and $192,000 for the artificial turf, the installation and a “SC” logo in the outfield.

Mullens has made upgrading the field one his top priorities. He has said it will allow the field to be used more often and will extend the playing season.

* Mullens honored Lt. Aaron Dunlap, who is retiring after 25 years with the Police Department. The mayor also swore in two new police officers, Joseph Cole and Joseph Barbagallo. Police Chief Brad Rinehardt said the new hires bring his department back up to full staff.

* Sanitary Board Director Steve DeBarr reported that the city has stepped up its property code enforcement, having served 25 summonses to Municipal Court in the last week. Council members had requested the enforcement.

* City Manager Carlton Lee reported that the Fire Department plans to move into the new fire station in Weberwood between May 1 and May 15. A ribbon-cutting ceremony and an open house for area residents are being planned.

* Heard from Republican Richard McGinnis, who is running in the 35th District for a seat in the state House of Delegates. McGinnis is a retired Charleston police officer who also is a registered dietician.

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