A preliminary look at the City of Ashland’s 2018-19 budget reflects across-the-board raises of one dollar per hour for all employees.

That raise will be a higher increase for those lower on the pay scale, but according to City Administrator Lyn Woolford, that is the idea.

“We are trying to increase the pay in order to keep those employees,” Woolford said Monday. “Turnover is expensive and we want to keep our employees.”

The lowest paid city employee starts at $12.50 per hour. For police officers, who have traditionally had some of the highest turnover in city employment, the new rate will pay them $14 per hour with shift differential pay for overnight hours.

City of Ashland Board of Aldermen got a look at the city’s preliminary budget last week during a workshop before the regularly scheduled Board of Aldermen meeting. They will get the first reading in late March with the budget being approved at the first meeting of the new fiscal year in April.

Woolford said there were no significant cuts or changes to this year’s budget, however, the entire budget could change based upon the outcome of the April election.

Woolford said if the parks tax is passed, the city can move it’s $36,000 expense to be funded by the tax, freeing up general fund dollars to pay for additional law enforcement. Woolford is currently budgeting an open full-time police officer position as a part-time position.

~ There’s more of this story in today’s Journal ~

By Bruce Wallace