By Jasmine Williams
SHARON — The City of Sharon Board met Tuesday, June 2 to discuss the first reading of the 2020-2021 budget. While this is the first reading and subject to changes in the coming readings this is Sharon’s general idea for raises and improvements to the city.
The board discussed the police department and the city needing a full-time officer. No applications were received from a certified officer for the position but one was received from a non-certified person interested in being certified. The board was skeptical of spending $4,000 for someone to become certified without a performance contract to ensure the person would continue to work in Sharon after the academy. Trainees receive wages from the city during their time at the academy. Board members also wanted this person to work for the city for a probationary period prior to the academy to ensure they are interested in law enforcement.
The police department had some changed to their budget this year because the city hall and the police department are now in the same building money creating a cost savings. However, there were increases in maintenance costs of vehicles and equipment since the department’s relocation
Employee raises were discussed and the board agreed in the first reading to be 3 percent to all employees. The last raise was for 5% in the 2018-19 fiscal year. There were no raises last year.
Sharon’s health insurance for workers will experience an increase due to the coronavirus and will be going up 5.4% this fiscal year. That comes to $3,000 to account for claims that could arise from the pandemic.
Other parts of the proposed budget had the highway and street fund have over $18,000 added for street paving for Industrial Park Drive. There also was an increase in the street fund to be used for purchasing more signs for the city. In grants, Sharon is expected to receive a Local Government Support Grant in the amount of $50,250.
More money going to the library in the form of repairs and book supplies. The board discussed how the library went over the allowed amount of money for salary in the use of substitute employees. Library Director Deena Smith said the Library Board that she is required to use subs several times per year, including holiday and vacation days which is why she exceeded the allowed funds. Sharon’s board agreed to discuss the use of subs with the library board at a later date.
The city of Sharon received a letter indicating the city is eligible to receive an emergency relief fund of $4,440. Final eligibility will be decided on July 1 by the state.
The next meeting to discuss the 2020-21 budget is June 22 at 6:30 in the Sharon City Hall.
By Jasmine Williams