LAFOLLETTE, TN  (WLAF) – The City of LaFollette department heads did not get their wishes granted. The council met prior to last night’s monthly meeting to address the budget and the department’s wish list. The wish list had seven items on it.  WATCH the meeting HERE.   One item, a software change totaling $17,000, was discussed as being non-negotiable. The fire department requested a used rescue truck, $90,000; public works requested a one-ton crew cab four-wheel drive dump truck, $45,000; 72” commercial mower Xmark for $12,000 for the recreation department; two Ford Explorers, $45,000 each, a Chevy 4X4 pickup truck, $43,500 for the police department. Chief Bill Roehl explained to council that the department is working toward phasing out its Dodge Charger patrol cars due to engine issues. “Currently, we have approximately 12 remaining in service”, said Roehl. If we miss a year of replacing vehicles, it takes four years to catch up, continued Roehl.  Councilman Mark Hoskins requested the police department come up with a ten-year plan to allow for planning of future funding.

After some budget discussion, the council decided to give employees a three-percent raise, costing the city approximately $125,000 for 96 employees. Department heads gave various opinions on the raise.  Roehl feels that a three-percent cost of living raise yearly will help with the retention of good employees.  Public Works Director Jim Mullens said employees will be happier with a .50 cent/hour raise, and Councilman Lonnie “Hot Rod” Wilson said “I would like to treat all employees equally.”

After the budget meeting, council convened at 5:30 pm for its regular monthly meeting and made quick work of the agenda.

The first reading of Ordinance 2019-02 Budget was completed. Council agreed to leave the tax rate at its current rate, give employees a three-percent raise and increase the fire hydrant fee from $1 to $2 to cover the cost of air pacs recently purchased for the fire department. The final reading of Ordinance 2019-02 Budget will be held Thursday, June 27 at 9 am.

The final business of the night was the donation of a 1985 Kenworth Fire Truck to the White Oak Fire Department. The city previously donated another 1985 Kenworth Fire Truck to the department, and this truck was needed for parts. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 06/05/2019-6AM)