The mayor of West Monroe and members of the Board of Aldermen will receive hefty pay raises beginning next year following the spring 2022 municipal election.
The mayor’s salary will jump from $85,000 per year to $98,500 annually as well as a cost of living adjustment each year that will not exceed two percent. The mayor’s stipend for automobile, gasoline and cellular telephone expenses will rise from $800 per month to $900 per month as well.
Members of the Board of Aldermen will see their monthly income increase from $900 to $1,000 each.
The pay raises will go into effect July 1, 2022, or effective at the beginning of the next terms in office. Mayor Staci Mitchell is expected to seek re-election next March.
The Board of Aldermen unanimously approved the pay hikes at its regular meeting Tuesday evening.
West Monroe city clerk Scott Olvey said it had been 20 years since the mayor and aldermen received a pay raise. He pointed out the mayor would begin receiving an annual pay adjustment so the Board of Aldermen would not be tasked with approving a pay raise for the mayor 10 years or so from today.
“As you know, you cannot raise your pay for the current term,” Olvey told the Board of Aldermen as he initiated his presentation about the pay hikes.
Olvey said raising the mayor’s salary to $98,500 annually and $1,000 per month for each aldermen was in line with the compensation mayors and aldermen collect in municipalities similar in size to West Monroe.
“This puts you in about the middle of the pack,” Olvey said.
On another front, the Board of Aldermen signed off on the city borrowing up $17 million for the construction of West Monroe’s new indoor sports facility. The city has plans to build the facility near the Ike Hamilton Expo Center off Interstate 20.
The city will use its bond counsel, Foley & Judell in New Orleans, to issue up to $17 million in bonded indebtedness to finance the project. Mitchell said the city would not spend the entire $17 million for the indoor sports facility. Part of the money, according to Mitchell, will be spent on renovations at the Ike.
In other business, the Board of Aldermen set the city’s general alimony ad valorem tax rate at 6.9 mills for the coming year. The rate for the street maintenance ad valorem tax will be 1.63 mills.