Apache Junction employees anticipate raises - East Valley Tribune: Queen Creek & San Tan Valley

Apache Junction employees anticipate raises

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Posted: Monday, June 27, 2005 11:09 am | Updated: 7:24 am, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Apache Junction city workers’ paychecks are going to get a little fatter after July 1, but officials had to slim down health coverage to do it.

The City Council is poised to adopt a $39 million budget that includes a 4.3 percent pay increase for about 90 percent of the city’s employees — everyone who’s been there for more than a year.

The plan is the result of two committees of about 20 employees each, one focusing on salaries and the other on benefits, working with city management.

The City Council plans to vote on the budget Tuesday.

City engineer Ron Grittman, who led the team examining the city’s pay scale, said the 250 city employees are pleased with the plan, and that the council has tentatively accepted all of the committee’s recommendations.

The city is planning to move to a "step" salary plan that will cost $300,000 more a year as employees work their way through the pay scale, Grittman said.

"We’ve created a plan that’s on the upper end of what’s sustainable, but we think it’s doable," he said.

In order to do it, employees had to recommend switching to a less-expensive health insurance plan, said parks supervisor Nick Blake, who led the benefits team.

"Initially, it looked like we weren’t going to have anything left over for any kind of merit increase, just because the cost of insurance is going up so incredibly high," Blake said.

Going to the new coverage plan saved the city $53,000, Blake said.

The 2005-06 budget’s $21.3 million General Fund is 18 percent higher than the previous year’s.

Much of the salarysustainability question rests on the city expanding into 275 square miles of State Land Department-owned land south of the city.

A city staff report projects sales tax intake will go up 20 percent in 2005-06, but warns revenue is expected to level off, at least until a vast tract of state-owned land to the south is freed up for annexation and development.

The budget sets aside $400,000 for the city’s efforts to plan for the expected expansion into the state land, which is being called Superstition Vistas.

Learn more

WHAT: Apache Junction City Council budget meeting

WHEN: 6 p.m. Tuesday

WHERE: City Council chambers, 300 E. Superstition Blvd.

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