VICKSBURG, Miss. (WLBT) - Vicksburg employees could soon see fatter pay checks.
Mayor George Flaggs says the raises are part of his budget proposal. Fire officials and police officers will see the largest increase if city leaders sign off on the plan.
Vicksburg Police Chief Milton Moore admits recruiting and retaining officers is not easy when there are so many neighboring departments offering competitive salaries.
“People love to see the dollar signs,” said Chief Moore.
Mayor Flaggs is now proposing five percent pay raises for police officers and firefighters.
It is all part of the proposed fiscal 2020 budget plan. Chief Moore says the raises would help keep qualified officers on his team and fill 10 full-time and three part-time spots to improve safety.
“In the law enforcement profession, we don't make a lot of money so any pay raise we can get is greatly appreciative. Our city is growing, and we need more police on the streets,” said Moore.
Vicksburg fire officials couldn’t agree more.
“With the five percent proposal it exceeds the norm,” said Fire Chief Craig Dancyzk.
“People always say before they leave, I really don’t want to go. I love working here, I love the people, but there is a better opportunity to make more money," said Lt. Vincent McRaven. “If you have kids, you have to do what you have to do and so with this increase in salary that is going to prevent those type of reasons to leave.”
Also under the plan, 3 percent raise across the board will be offered to all other city workers. The minimum wage will go up by 25 cents an hour.
“I think this is a good idea to let our guys know they are getting a raise,” said Public Works Official Carl Harris said.
The funds to supply the raises would come from the 2019 surplus fund. The mayor says the board of aldermen will examine the budget and then make a final decision.
If the raises are approved, the mayor says they will go into effect October 1, 2019.