New pay for Andalusia City Council, mayor approved; takes effect after 2025 election

Published 11:00 am Saturday, May 11, 2024

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Members of the Andalusia City Council and the mayor will receive a pay increase with the next administration.

Following a first reading in April on the ordinance to increase elected officials’ compensation, the council voted unanimously for its approval during a meeting on Wednesday, May 8.

The ordinance will increase the salary of the mayor by $875 per month. Currently, the mayor earns $5,625 per month.

Members of the council would receive an increase of $163 per month, if the measure passes. Members are currently paid $812 per month. In addition, council members can receive an additional $225 per month upon completion of the Alabama League of Municipalities’ certification program. The ordinance will increase that amount to $250 per month.

The new salaries will go into effect after a city election in 2025.

City Administrator John Thompson said the last pay increase for elected officials came in 2018 with prior increases approved in 2007 and 1997.

Another first reading from the prior meeting involved the rezoning of property off of River Falls Street, in the area of Chickasaw and Cherokee streets. The council approved the requested change from Residential (R3) to Commercial (B3).

The property owner requested the change for the property where a store front will be placed for a propane and equipment leasing business.

City officials said zoning ordinance calls for the property owner to place either a privacy fence or vegetation as a buffer between the new commercial zone and adjacent residential properties.

The city’s planning commission held a public hearing and approved the zoning change prior to sending it to the city council for the final vote.

Other items discussed by the council included:

  • approved the purchase of up to 11 in-vehicle camera systems at a cost of $26,645 for the Andalusia Police Department. The cameras will be an update to current cameras used and includes a feature that will automatically download recorded footage onto the APD’s servers when a vehicle returns to the police station.
  • approving funds from the city’s Education Tax to be used for students to attend a Dale Carnegie business and leadership program.

The Andalusia Board of Education requested the funds for the program, which will provide $600 toward the cost of the program for each participating student. The student will be responsible for paying an additional $200.

The Carnegie course has been used by business and organizations for many years to build self-confidence, strengthen people skills, enhance communication skills, develop leadership skills, and provides techniques to reduce stress.

Mayor Earl Johnson said if the program is successful, the city may offer it to those students who serve as city ambassadors.

  • approving the purchase of two Kubota tractors from Southern Equipment Co. at a cost of $162,000, replacing two purchased in 2013 that need to be replaced. The tractors will include a bushhog cutter, batwing mower, and a flail mower.
  • approving projects for the gymnasiums at both Johnson Park and the Coleman Center. At Johnson Park, $43,840 will be used to resurface the gym floor and provide mechanical goals that can be adjusted by height.

The Coleman Center will have its carpeted gym floor replaced with a rubberized surface at a cost of $69,000.

  • approving the re-appointment of Lynn Ralls and Willie Locke to the Board of Zoning Adjustments. Jackie R. Woods was appointed as a new member to that board.

The next meeting of the city council is scheduled for Tuesday, May 21, 6 p.m., at city hall. A work session precedes the meeting at 5:30 p.m. The public is invited to attend.