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Las Animas to Discuss Funding of Pay Raise for City Employees

(Las Animas, CO) -- Las Animas City Workers were approved at the last meeting for a pay raise of up to five dollars per hour, however a meeting to discuss the numbers on how to fund it will happen Wednesday night at 6pm. That special call meeting will be to figure out how the city can fund that raise in the future.

City Clerk Charmaine Trip says she feels the request for the increase for the city staff is only fair and equitable after Las Animas Municipal Utilities voted to give their staff a five dollar per hour pay increase. There could be a rate increase for all utility customers however to pay for that raise for utility workers.

City Council Member Dave Armstrong said at the last regular meeting, Tuesday April 12th, that he wanted to be careful in spending money. Armstrong says he would feel more comfortable seeing the numbers before making a decision. "I don't like jumping not knowing where we are going to land" Armstrong said. He went on to say they need they need a special call to crunch numbers to see what they can do.

It was brought up that maybe the money for the raises could be taken from the marijuana fund. Armstrong says he doesn't feel like the marijuana money is the right place to pull the money from at this time. Armstrong says he feels like the money from the marijuana fund should go toward something that would benefit the general population of the city. Further, Armstrong says he doesn't want to see the city go into the red.

Clerk Tripp suggested that the workers with the city won't be happy when they find out that Las Animas Municipal Utility workers got a raise and they did not. Council brought up that La Junta recently offered their city workers a pay raise to retain staff in a competitive labor market. Tripp says Las Animas has the money right now to offer the raises.

Running the numbers at the meeting, it was decided that it could be an estimated $8,000 a month in costs. Details will be ironed out at the public meeting, Wednesday night at 6 in the Las Animas city council meeting chambers.


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