Conway city council plans raise for employees

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - The City of Conway is considering a plan to increase the salary of each employee by 3-percent in the next fiscal year, beginning in July.

City Council just carved out a budget at its annual budget retreat and council leaders say they've found room in the budget for employee raises. Mayor Alys Lawson says the raises were once an annual tradition, but the tanking economy forced that to a halt back in 2009.

Lawson says despite layoffs last year on top of a tough three years, Conway's budget and economy seem to be back on track.

"We feel like we've weathered the storm and that the economy's turning around for everybody and especially our community particularly," said Lawson.

The mayor cites growth in construction and more business licenses for the extra revenue. She adds a major portion of the extra money comes from the revenue generated from the multiple student housing projects going up near Coastal Carolina University.

Conway employs about 225 people in full-time positions, according to city leaders.

"We hope this will boost their morale and make them know how much the council appreciates them as well as the citizens of Conway," Lawson said.

Residents seem to overwhelmingly support the plan.

"It sounds pretty good that they found money in the budget to raise salaries. I mean in this economy every little bit helps," said Conway resident Ted Sherrod.

Bill Graham, city administrator, tells WMBF News the raises will be part of the proposed budget set to be passed in June. The budget will also include funding for a planned public safety facility, which would combine the city's police and fire services.

Copyright 2012 WMBF News. All rights reserved.