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Midway passes budget
City workers face salary freeze
Clemontine Washington
Midway Mayor Dr. Clemontine Washington

With just one working day left in the year the Midway City Council Thursday approved a $3.8 million annual budget for 2017 that freezes the salaries of city workers for at least six months.

The council had seemed unable to come to agreement on 2017 funding for a new city hall, municipal elections in 2017 and other costs while allocating a pay raise for city employees.

The council decided to keep pay at the current rate for the first half of 2017 but to cut some expenditures and to reserve money to give employees a one-step pay hike in July, if funds are available then. This plan passed unanimously.

Midway Mayor Dr. Clemontine Washington explained, "I requested Ms. Lowe (Gwendolyn Lowe, Midway’s finance director) to set aside a pot money for salaries."

Officials hope this pot will allow them to give mid-year pay increases to Midway’s employees.

To establish that pot of money the council made numerous cuts in the previously proposed budget. Funding for a part-time assistant for the city clerk was eliminated and a request for an additional police officer was turned down.

Travel and training funds for many employees were reduced as were items like services and advertising.

The popular Midway Day festival was cut from the 2017 budget as were Christmas activities.

Municode, a professional service that collects, edits, codifies and makes available ordinances and other local government documents, was budgeted for $10,000 in 2016.

According to the most recent report Midway had already paid $13,564 to Municode this year. The 2017 budget shows $3,000 for Municode.

Four other Liberty County municipalities use Municode along with the county itself.

The pay freezes and other cuts will help the city move forward with designs on its new $1 million city hall.

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