JONESBORO The Jonesboro City council came out of a lengthy executive session and handed out approximately $4,200 in raises to two city hall employees Monday night.
Council members unexpectedly and unanimously voted to give a $300-per month stipend to City Clerk Janice Truhan and a $600-per year raise to Finance Director Sandra Meyers. Truhan’s monthly stipend adds up to roughly $3,600 per year.
Jonesboro Mayor Joy Day said she could not divulge the reason why Truhan and Meyers received the raises because it was a personnel matter.
However, a vague comment she made to Truhan after the meeting hinted that at least the city clerk’s raise was need-based.
“Hopefully, that will help you out some,” Day told the city clerk.
The raises were a small part of the more than $560,000 the council agreed to spend this week. But much of that money is tied to Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax-funded sidewalk projects planned for the city.
The mayor also said she could not immediately recall what Truhan and Meyers’ annual salaries were before the raises were granted.
The city budget included a $4,180 increase in the line item for city hall employee salaries, but Councilwoman Pat Sebo said that was not related to the raises approved this week.
Sebo said Truhan got the stipend to “assist with her duties as city clerk” but did not elaborate on what that meant.
Meanwhile, the cost of the two sidewalk projects totals $534,050.
The largest project is a $329,650 sidewalk planned for the east side of Fayetteville Road between Smith Street and Tara Boulevard. Day said the project will include a new sewage and drainage system for the street. It will also be designed to comply with the American with Disabilities Act.
Another $204,400 sidewalk project will add a sidewalk on North Avenue between Fayetteville Road and the city limits just a few feet short of Tara Boulevard.
Day said this project will also include drainage and ADA compliance provisions, but she added an additional feature of this project will be a retaining wall which must be built to support the sidewalk. She also said a fence will be installed to keep people from falling over the wall.
The council also gave its blessing to spend $24,000 in seized drugs funds to buy new redesigned badges for the Jonesboro Police Department.
In other action, the council gave Day its blessing to apply for a $621,570 federal Community Development Block Grant that would be used to pay for sidewalks on South Main Street between South Avenue and the city limits.
The proposed sidewalk will connect to existing sidewalks which will be renovated as part of Jonesboro’s upcoming Streetscape Phase II.