The Williams City Council voted 5-0 at their Oct. 23 meeting to bump the 2021 operating budget for the Williams Fire District.
City officials said the Fire District asked the city and rural fire protection district for a total increase of $10,000 to allow for firefighters to receive a pay raise. An amount of $7,500 would come from the City of Williams; the Rural portion would be $2,500.
“This would increase the fire district’s allocation from the city’s general fund by $7,500,” said Finance Director Rex Greenbaun. “The previous budget that included 2020 and 2021 was a flat $391,695 for both years.”
Greenbaun said city officials, in previous discussions with the fire district, had discussed a possible increase in 2021 if financial conditions allowed.
“It was recommended that we provide a little bit additional so they could have a cost of living increase for some of the staff,” Greenbaun said.
City Councilman John Troughton Jr. said the increase was well deserved.
“The firemen need a lot of catching up,” Troughton said. “This won’t catch them up, but it will help them a little bit.”
While the Fire District budget has increased annually the past few years, city officials said the increase was largely due to additional operating costs, not necessarily salaries.
“This $7,500 is strictly for salaries,” said City Administrator Frank Kennedy. ♣