12/06/11 — Town approves 2.5 percent pay increase

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Town approves 2.5 percent pay increase

By Kelly Corbett
Published in News on December 6, 2011 1:46 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- Town workers will receive a raise effective Jan. 1, the Mount Olive town board decided at its meeting Monday.

Members passed a 2.5 percent increase, which will cost the town an additional $42,000 annually, and will be funded by additional income the town has received from property ad valorem tax collections, which increased from the tax revaluation.

Mayor Ray McDonald, Sr. said town employees have not received a raise in four or five years, because of the economy. He also said a raise is necessary with the rise in the cost of living.

Two long-term plans, for hazard mitigation plan and land use, also were continued.

The board approved the addition of the city of Goldsboro to the Wayne County Multi-Jurisdiction Hazard Mitigation Plan.

"After we approved it and it went to state, they added Goldsboro to the plan, so it has to come back to us to be reapproved to include the city of Goldsboro," Town Manager Charles Brown said.

Brown said the plan is used for "raising the height of buildings for a floodplain."

"Each jurisdiction had their own plan," he said.

A public hearing is also being scheduled for the 2030 Comprehensive Land Use Plan, which outlines how the town will deal with economic growth over the next 30 years.

"We're going to schedule a public hearing in January to adopt the plan," Brown said. "We didn't want the plan to be adopted and sit on the shelf."

Lee Nichols and the North Carolina Division of Community Planning Services have been working on the measure for the past two years.

"The town's expense is limited to their travel costs," Brown said. "It was a wonderful service to the town provided at a very low cost to the town and they're offering to continue to help us with a strategic plan to make sure that our land use plan, that we carry through with it, and try to reach the goals we've set for them."

Feedback for the plan comes from a May 2010 survey of 229 citizens. Respondents said jobs, crime and safety, high water bill issues, a movie theater, youth activities and infrastructure and street repair are the key areas of improvement needed in the town.

Brown said at this point the town needs a resolution authorizing Nichols and the state Division of Community Planning to assist with the planning.

Police Chief Brian Rhodes was authorized to sign the regular mutual aid agreement, which will allow the police jurisdictions in Duplin, Wayne, Smithfield and Warsaw to operate within each other's boundaries.

"When we have large operations in town, we get assistance...and we reciprocate," Brown said. "It's a formality, but it needs to be done periodically."