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Libby City Council approves wage increases for employees, elected officials

by WILL LANGHORNE
The Western News | July 13, 2021 7:00 AM

Libby City Council signed off on a series of wage increases for employees and elected officials earlier this week to keep municipal pay in line with inflation and simplify bookkeeping efforts.

City councilors voted in favor of a 2 percent cost of living increase and 1 percent wage bump for department heads on July 6. The decision standardized pay raises for the city’s top brass with those that unionized employees negotiated for earlier this year.

In a followup interview, City Clerk and Treasurer Sam Sikes said he estimated that the city would pay roughly $1,070,000 in wages next year. Sikes could not give a firm number due to unpredictable fluctuations in overtime pay.

Councilors approved a 2 percent increase to the city’s contract with Lincoln County Rural Fire Department to pay for the fire marshal’s wages. The bump corresponds to a $793.80 raise in yearly pay to $40,485. Sikes said the county also contributes to the fire marshal’s wages.

For the first time in many years, elected officials and top firefighters received slight increases in their salaries. Councilors made the changes to streamline the city’s financial record keeping. Sikes said rounding the wages up by pennies would save him a significant amount of time when putting together payroll.

The increase in elected official wages will bring the combined council and mayor salaries up to $36,738 from $36,538.44. Firefighter wages for chief, first assistant and second assistant will go up from $12,106.80 to $12,200.