Blackfoot Council approves release of merit pay

BLACKFOOT — The Blackfoot City Council approved the release of retroactive merit pay raises for eligible city employees during its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday.
After a brief review, Mayor Mike Virtue said the city's budget is in good shape and most departments have spent less than 50 percent of their budget.
"We're in excellent shape," Virtue said.
Employees who were eligible for merit raises during the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, 2010, will receive a 3 percent merit increase for this year. The council decided to withhold merit raises until a mid-year budget review.
The council voted 3-1 to approve the merit pay, with Councilman Chris Jensen casting the dissenting vote. He said he wanted to know how much money was being released before voting. That information was unavailable at the meeting.
"I wanted more information before we decided," Jensen said.
He said city employees and departments have worked hard to stay under budget and that he is not against giving raises.
Also at the meeting the council approved a lease-purchase agreement for a 2010 Ford Explorer for use by the Police Department.
Virtue presented a plaque to former City Treasurer Ginette Manwaring for her nine years of service to the city.
The council approved a revision to the cemetery subdivision plat that affects the west side of the cemetery property along Highway 91. The property is affected by the construction on Highway 91. None of the plots in that section of the cemetery have been sold.
The council met in executive session for one hour to consider the evaluation, dismissal or disciplining of or to hear complaints or charges brought against a public officer, employee, staff member or individual agent.
The council did not discuss the proposed texting while driving ban.