City employees get raises today

Published 8:04 pm Saturday, June 30, 2018

Effective Sunday, members of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and city employees are getting more money.

The board at a special meeting Friday approved a 3 percent across the board pay raise for city employees and a 5 percent raise for Mayor George Flaggs Jr. and Aldermen Michael Mayfield and Alex Monsour.

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Vicksburg firefighters will receive a raise of between 3 and 4 percent, because they are on a different pay system than the city’s other employees.

The 5 percent raise for the board members was set by city ordinance, and increases Flaggs’ salary from $98,122.50 to $103,028; the aldermen’s pay will go from  $78,277.50 to $82,191 each.

The raise is the last the board will receive under the present ordinance.

Flaggs said he met with the city’s division heads in his office to discuss the employee raises before announcing the pay raise at the board’s June 21 meeting.

“I gave them two options — 2 percent this year, 2 percent next year,” he said.

“The majority said they wanted 3 percent this year.”

Had the department heads gone with the 2 percent proposition, he said, it would have meant an overall larger increase over the two years.

“I tried to help you all,” he told the employees, “But they rolled over me. I tried to help you get more money, but they ran over me.”

In another matter, the board approved a final agreement with ESG to operate and manage the city’s wastewater treatment plant on Rifle Range Road.

The board accepted a proposal from the company June 6 pending negotiations. The Georgia-based company also operates the city’s water treatment plant on Haining Road. The contract is effective Sunday.

“When I sign this, we are now contracting out our wastewater (plant),” Flaggs said.

Under the contract with ESG, the city will pay the company $512,800 per year to run the plant, plus a $50,000 annual repair fee to handle the cost of repairing equipment.

The change to privatization will affect eight employees at the plant, who will have the opportunity for jobs with ESG at the wastewater treatment plant on Rifle Range Road. Flaggs said he met with the plant employees, “And every last one of them was happy with either going with ESG or retiring and going forth with their lives.”

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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