Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Zephyrhills gives city employees slight payroll boost to offset pension deduction

ZEPHYRHILLS — City employees are going to get a little boost in their paycheck through the end of this fiscal year — though the money will be spent before they even see it.

City Council voted unanimously Monday night to give employees a 2.75 percent raise to help offset the contribution that government employees must start making to the Florida Retirement System. The move came at the urging of City Manager Steve Spina and department heads.

When the state's new budget year starts July 1, all members of the pension system — including 180 Zephyrhills employees — will be required to contribute 3 percent of their income to the pension system. Up until now, Zephyrhills and other government agencies picked up the tab for those contributions.

No longer required to make those contributions, Zephyrhills will save $47,193 by the end of its budget year, Sept. 30. Council members decided to put that money toward the temporary raises, which also run through Sept. 30.

Spina noted that city employees have not received a raise in three years, as declining property values starved city coffers.

"I didn't want to see them take a cut in pay especially since they haven't had an increase in so long," council member Charlie Proctor said Tuesday. "They're hard workers."

Will the raise continue after Sept. 30? That will be up to the council to decide during its budget discussions this summer. But finding the money could be difficult: The city is already facing a projected shortfall of $800,000 to $1 million next year.

"It would be nice (to keep the salary increase) because I don't see raises in the future," Proctor said. "Heck, I would like to see them get a well-deserved raise but I don't see the writing on the wall."

Refunds coming on utility deposits

In other news, the Zephyrhills council voted unanimously to refund utility deposits for people who became customers before Aug. 11, 2008.

The refunds have been the subject of debate for several months, since a resident urged the council to provide refunds as was promised before a policy change nearly three years ago.

Utility deposits will be refunded to residential customers who meet the following guidelines:

• They must have had uninterrupted service for at least 24 continuous billing cycles.

• They haven't had any checks returned for insufficient funds or other reasons for at least 12 months.

• They didn't have any service shut-offs due to non-payment for at least 12 months.

• They didn't have any late fees for at least 12 consecutive months.

Utility Department staff will determine residents' eligibility and will mail refund checks to customers in the coming months, Spina said.

As per the current policy, customers who don't meet the requirements will have their deposit applied to their final bill, and any unused balance will be refunded.

Zephyrhills gives city employees slight payroll boost to offset pension deduction 06/14/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 8:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Senator: American student arrested in China has been freed


    BILLINGS, Mont. — Chinese authorities have dropped charges against an American college student who was arrested and detained in the a week ago after reportedly injuring a taxi driver who was roughing up his mother in a fare dispute, a U.S. lawmaker said Sunday.

    Guthrie McLean was detained for reportedly injuring a taxi driver after the driver physically attacked McLean’s mother.
  2. Tampa-based makeup artist disqualified from contest over pro-Trump post


    WICHITA, Kan. — A makeup artist who splits her time between Tampa and Kansas says she won a national contest sponsored by Kat Von D Beauty but was later disqualified because of an Instagram post supporting Donald Trump's presidential candidacy.

    Gypsy Freeman won the contest with this image posted to Instagram. [@facesofgypsy on Instagram]
  3. Flesh-eating bacteria nearly kills Florida man who thought he just had blisters from a hike


    Wayne Atkins thought little of the blisters he had gotten while hiking. He was trekking up and down the 4,500-foot-high Mount Garfield in New Hampshire - a 10-mile round trip - and blisters were no surprise.

    Wayne Atkins thought his blisters were from hiking, but the flesh eating bacteria nearly killed him. [YouTube]
  4. Yes, again: Rays blow late two-run lead, get swept by Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As weekends go, this was a bad one for the Rays. In a word: brutal.

    Tampa Bay Rays relief pitcher Brad Boxberger, foreground, reacts after giving up a home run to Texas Rangers' Carlos Gomez during the eighth inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 23, 2017, in St. Petersburg, Fla. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson) FLMC116
  5. White House offers muddled message on Russia sanctions legislation


    WASHINGTON - White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Sunday that the Trump administration supports new legislation to punish Russia for its meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its aggression toward Ukraine.

    President Donald Trump at the commissioning ceremony for the USS Gerald R. Ford  at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia, July 22, 2017. [New York Times]