DEMOPOLIS, AL (WSFA) - At a time where most cities are cutting back, Demopolis is expanding. City leaders recently approved a $9.8 million budget.
The 2.5% increase helped pave the way for city improvements and openings within the police department, bringing full-time coverage to the city for the first time in years.
"...simply because we have been cutting and cutting the last couple of years, and we've been very blessed in that we've had a surplus to be able to put back the last couple of years," said Demopolis mayor Mike Grayson.
The city also introduced another perk: a $1,000 check for each full-time employee. Workers say it's a nice change of pace, especially in the midst of a wage freeze.
"Of course, in these times, extra money everywhere is welcome. So everybody's excited about it, and I am, too. Being a single parent, every little dime helps," explained Sherron Brown, the city's HR manager.
"It gives [workers] some kind of incentive, considering we're not getting raises this year," said Sam Gross, the city clerk.
There's still a little bit of work to be done. The city is adding some green space and entertaining some new industry.
With other areas struggling right now, Mayor Grayson says he's hopeful this 'work in progress' will pay off.
"The fact that we're getting some discussion, and at least we're getting on the radar screen, that's a very positive thing," he explained.
The money for the employees came from surpluses stemming from this year's budget, Grayson says.
Workers should get the extra money some time around Thanksgiving.