City employees of East Ridge will be receiving bonuses starting this spring.
Tim Gobble, East Ridge City Manager said, "We are very proud of our employees. They work very hard every year. They didn't get a raise last year, so we are glad that the council has supported this bonus for our employees." The City of East Ridge did not include employee raises into their budget planning. The increase will put them in an automatic 100 thousand dollar deficit. Brent Lambert, East Ridge Mayor said, "Obviously its problematic as far as where do we get the money. At this point it looks like we will have to get the money out of reserve funds. So more or less pulling it out of our savings account in order to pay for it."
Lambert and council member Sewell voted no on the approval of the budget due to timing. Lambert says one variable that could effect the budget even more is their new sanitation fee, which is added to the city's tax bill. Lambert said, "It could be that we will be fine as far as how we collect the sanitation fee, or it could be that we come up short, so that could be a deficit as well. We just don't know about that portion right now."
Gobble supported the raises at Thursday evening's council meeting. He says he recommends raises at the beginning of the budget year rather than the middle. The outcome of the budget will ultimately depend on how much revenue the city generates to offset what they spend. Gobble said, "The possibility exists that we could not realize that the sanitation fee as much as we were anticipating, and that could add to a potential deficit for the city. I hope that's not the case." Gobble said his goal is to never be in a deficit situation.