Demopolis boosts employees’ pay, seeks contract with Shelton State

Employees of Demopolis’ Public Works, Horticulture and Sports-plex departments will see an increase in their next paychecks.

The city council approved a recommendation from the finance committee Thursday night for a one-time adjustment for hourly employees in those departments. Management and secretarial employees in those departments were not included.

The scale established a hire-in rate of $8.50, and will provide up to a $2.00 an hour increase for employees who have been with the city since 1997 or prior.

Council member Bill Meador said other departments, such as police and fire, were not included because they have been addressed in prior years. Meador serves on the council’s finance committee, along with Charles Jones Jr. and Mayor Mike Grayson.

The proposal, which is projected to cost an additional $56,264 annually, also established a scale for annual increases.

Also Thursday, the council voted to enter into a contract with a retail coach and to pursue a contract with Shelton State for use of the Demopolis Higher Education Center at the Sports-plex.

The University of West Alabama ended its agreement with the city for use of the center, effective at the end of this year, but Grayson said he hopes UWA will still be in the mix.

“We’ve talked to Shelton, and we’ve talked to UWA, and they want to work with each other,” the mayor said.

In regard to the retail coach – an outside firm that will look for “gaps” in the Demopolis retail market in hopes of attracting new business – the city will pay $10,000 for the firm’s services, while the Chamber of Commerce, Industrial Developoment Board and Demopolis Area Business Council will contribute $5,000 each.

In other business, the council:

  • Approved an ABC off-premesis beer and wine license application for 605 N. Walnut. The application was necessary due to a change in ownership.
  • Heard that the Delta Regional Authority, in conjunction with the U.S. military, will offer a medical mission providing free health services in Demopolis in August of next year.
  • Moved the next council meeting to Monday, Jan. 5 due to the New Year’s holiday.
  • Heard Brenda Tuck, Executive Director of the Marengo County Economic Development Authority, report that outside investors continue to express interest in the port project. “There is a lot of activity and a lot of interest,” she said. “These wheels turn slowly, but they are turning.”