GERALDINE — The mayor and council members in Geraldine will be getting a pay raise starting next term after the current council voted during the meeting Monday, Feb. 10, to increase its monthly salary.

Following the election in November, the Geraldine mayor will make $800 per month, which is $200 more per month than Mayor Chuck Ables currently makes. Each council member will make $300 per month. 

Ables said the pay increases reflect the pay rates of other surrounding municipalities. According to information he’s gathered, Ables said Fyffe’s mayor and council makes approximately $900 and $450 per month, respectively, Collinsville’s makes $1,000 and $450 and Grant’s — whose population most closely matches Geraldine’s — makes $900 and $450.

Council members will also have the option of purchasing insurance through the town but will have to pay 100% of the monthly premium.

In other business, the council:

• Discussed plans for a new T-ball field. The town plans to buy a 4-acre plot of land. The price will be determined after a survey of the land has been completed. Ables said the council is still waiting on the land to be surveyed, which has been delayed due to weather.

• Discussed finishing Salem-cut Off Road and other paving projects.

• Approved a donation of $300 to the CED Mental Health Center for its Youth Prevention Conference taking place March 4 at the DeKalb County Schools Coliseum.

• Discussed hiring a shredding truck for three hours for $801. Ables said he will check with Liberty Bank in Geraldine to see about utilizing its shredding service.

• Discussed retirement benefits for town employees. In 2013, the State of Alabama made changes to the retirement plan structure. Ables said he would like to gather more information before the council makes any decision. He also said Geraldine’s retirement account is currently 169% funded.

• Discussed adding a covered walkway at the local senior center. Ables said the town would purchase the materials for the awning and the agriculture class at Geraldine High School will handle the construction at no cost.

• Approved an ordinance to surplus the following items

1. 2001 Chevrolet Silverado for a minimum of $2,000

2. 2012 Kubota lawn mower for a minimum of $2,500

3. 2007 Gravely lawn mower — no minimum

4. Eight office chairs for $20 each

The council will take sealed bids for the vehicle and mowers until Friday, Feb. 28 at 4 p.m.

• Failed to adopt a resolution that would no longer require regularly scheduled work sessions to be held each month. A unanimous vote by the council and mayor was required to adopt the resolution. It failed to pass, with a vote count of 4-1. Councilman Tim Gilbert voted against the resolution. Councilman Larry Lingerfelt was absent. Currently, the council holds a work session the Tuesday before its regularly scheduled meeting on the second Monday of each month. The resolution would do away with the monthly work session. The council would still be able to call a special work session to discuss issues more in depth, as needed. 

• During the time for public comment, a citizen asked the council if there were any ordinances addressing the parking of disabled vehicles on a person’s front lawn. Councilman Terry Harris and Ables said they thought there was and that they would look into the matter.

• The council then went into an executive session “to discuss the good name and character of an employee.”

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