For some time now, a raise for the city workers has been on the agenda, and City Councilman Larry Prater brought this up at the Council Meeting on Thursday, September 13.
Mr. Prater suggested a feasibility study be done to see if a raise was possible.
Mayor Henry Cotton said he'd like to be able to give raises but couldn’t at this time. He did mention they were able to negotiate with insurance.
“We'd like to be able to give a 5% raise,” he asserted. “We have been able to negotiate our insurance to a 0% increase.”
Cotton mentioned the numbers the city has calculated and discussed what it would take to give a raise.
“A 50 cents an hour raise for every employee with 140 employees is $1,000 each not including added costs and employer contributions,” he explained.
He stated that the city doesn’t have the money to do that at this time, and that he didn’t know of any grants to pay for raises. He said he was glad Councilman Prater brought it up but didn’t want to promise something he couldn't do. He does, however, hope it can be done in the future.
“We'd be remiss if we promised the employees something and then we can't give it,” Cotton said. “I'm so proud of our employees and what they do, from police and fire to public works and administration and every department in the city, and as soon as we have the money I’m hoping the council will move.”
The Council discussed a theft-tracking device with Chief of Police Allen Campbell. This software tracks stolen goods such as guns and phones that are sold and goes through pawnshop tickets every 24 hours. The Bastrop Police Department has been on a 30-day trial and the council discussed buying the software.
“It's able to do the work of one to three men,” said Campbell. “I've had hits as far as Florida and California, and I’ve had officers come up to me and ask when we are going to buy it.”
After a short discussion the council voted to purchase the program for the department.
The council also passed a resolution for the hiring of Tamika Farrell as project manager for an agriculture feasibility study on the Ditto Building. Ms. Tamika Farrell graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics from Southern University and a Masters of Science in Agricultural Education from Iowa State University. The feasibility study will be done under a grant received by the city.