Jennings council approves budget, pay raise for city workers

JENNINGS, LA (KPLC) - The Jennings City Council adopted the city's budget for fiscal year 2012 on Tuesday night.

Among the highlights in the $10.2 million budget: $600,000 for capital outlay projects; also funding to upgrade A/C units in some city buildings and a two percent pay increase for all city workers. The increase does not include city council members or the mayor.

Among the workers who will get the increase are police officers.

Jennings Police Chief Todd D'Albor said the raise in pay will help his department stay competitive.

"It's much needed," said D'Albor. "Our officers are doing an outstanding job and we felt that we wanted to be competitive with other agencies in the surrounding area so that we could continue to recruit qualified candidates to come on to the force."

Jennings Mayor Terry Duhon said it was the most challenging city budget he has ever helped craft.

"The economy as everybody knows is not rosy, but we have seen a slight increase in sales tax revenues over the last five to six months," said Duhon.

At $10.2 million, the city's budget is up two percent from last year, a little less than the five percent increase officials were hoping for.

"We've been very conservative over the years and we have a healthy surplus of funds that enables us to continue doing the things that we have been doing."

In addition, the council approved a slight hike in water and sewer fees, however the garbage collection fee will remain the same.

The budget will fund city operations through June 30, 2012.

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