Budget has employee raises; safety increases

Published 7:10 am Wednesday, September 13, 2023

Rapid growth reflected in infrastructure expenses

In the latest Board of Aldermen meeting on Sept. 5, the city of Oxford’s 2023-24 fiscal year budget allocations took center stage, providing a comprehensive view of departmental budget changes.

Mayor Robyn Tannehill underscored the significance of the city’s rapid growth.

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“It’s important to know that we live in the fastest-growing county, percentage-wise, in the state,” she said. “The average annual inflation rate over the past four years is 4.67 percent.”

Tannehill said many of the budget adjustments align with the escalating costs across various sectors. The complete general budget is available on the city of Oxford’s website.

City Clerk Ashley Atkinson went over highlights from selected budget sections, focusing on departmental adjustments and the expenses associated with sustaining infrastructure to accommodate the burgeoning population.

Among the notable budget changes were salary increases for several departments in line with raises for city employees averaging about 4 percent.

An overview of department salaries follows:

Police Department

Administrative Salaries

  • 2024 Budget: $225,422.00
  • 2023 Amended Budget: $214,631.00
  • Change from Previous Year: 5.03%

Non-Administrative Staff Salaries

  • 2024 budget: $5,982,285.00
  • 2023 amended budget: $5,727,458.00
  • Change: A 4.44% increase

Fire Department

  • Administrative Staff Salaries This Year: $101,446.
  • Change from Last Year: A 3.99% increase.
  • Non-Administrative Staff Salaries This Year: $4,684,049.
  • Change from Last Year: A 4.51% increase.

Street Department (Roads and Infrastructure)

  • Previous Year’s Street Department budget: About $473,000.
  • Current Year’s Street Department budget: Approximately $491,000.
  • Change: A 4% increase.

Parks & Recreation:

Administrative Staff Salaries

  • Current Year: $85,651.00
  • Last Year: $82,357.00
  • Change: 3.99% increase
  • Non-Administrative Staff Salaries
  • Current Year: $652,029.00
  • Last Year: $758,917.00
  • Change: 14.08% decrease

Executive Department

  • Administrative Salaries This Year: $68,000.
  • Last year’s Administrative Salaries: About $65,000
  • Change from Last Year: A 4% increase.

Financial Administration

  • Non-Administrative Salary budget This Year: $335,000.
  • Last year’s non-administrative salary budget: Approximately $307,000
  • Change from Last Year: A 9% increase.

The increased funding for the police and fire departments reflects a heightened emphasis on public safety. Mayor Tannehill noted, “Criminals have become a lot more sophisticated and are using a lot more technology, and we have to keep up.” 

The reduction in non-administrative staff salaries within the parks and recreation department is an example of the city’s ongoing efforts to balance budgetary considerations, officials said.