CRIME

Gonzales budget tops $38.5 million

Staff reports

The Gonzales City Council unanimously adopted a proposed $38.64 million budget which includes a $22,565,500 capital outlay package.

Approved at the regular meeting Monday, the budget takes effect with the new fiscal year June 1.

The budget provides for construction a new $3 million police station on city-owned land at the old city swimming pool site in front of the American Legion building on East Cornerview.

Firefighters will receive a 10 percent pay raise under the buidget to combat attrition in the department. They will be moved from the current pay scale used by the fire department into the higher regular city pay scale at Range 8.

Six firefighter slots will also be converted to captain pay at the city’s Range 9 rate as part of a process expected to lead to a new director of emergency medical services position in the department.

The overall budget also includes a 3 percent raise for all city employees, and an absorption of an expected 8 percent increase in health insurance premiums for employees.

Projected budgets for both the police and fire departments are down from last year. The fire department is expected to spend $2,383,100 compared to $$2,513,500 budgeted last year, and police $3,994,300 compared to $4,600,000 last year.