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Board approves pay increase for police, fire, sanitation workers

The Collierville Board of Mayor and Aldermen voted unanimously Monday night to revise next year’s budget to reflect a pay increase for the town’s firefighters, police officers and sanitation drivers.

The amendments were discussed after a public hearing last month to the address the budget for the 2017 fiscal year.

The total expenditure changes for fire and police pay raises adds up to more than $335,000.

Town Administrator James Lewellen said the town’s police and fire workers earn “step” increases.

The starting salary for police officers is around $34,000 a year. Officers receive “step” increases over the next five years until their salary levels out at $50,000. Officers can then receive “merit” increases up to around $57,000.

The new scale will allow workers to reach the maximum pay level within the first five years.

While discussing the budget, which was approved on third and final reading, Lewellen said half of the 20 operating budgets within the overall 2017 budget were lower than the previous year.

The town will also see more than $130 million in capital projects next year, including the new high school.

While he voted in favor of the budget, Alderman Tom Allen noted he was against the $40,000 allotted for the Partners in Education Foundation and $75,000 to pay a tourism director.

“Our priorities should be safety and infrastructure,” he said.

However, Mayor Stan Joyner noted that the position of special events coordinator was being eliminated, making room in the budget for the new position. He also said supporting the Partners in Education Foundation had been recommended to the board. The foundation works to make sure schools are meeting the needs of local businesses.

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