The Lilburn City Council approved the city’s 2020 budget, which includes raises for employees, Monday night.
The budget includes four funds: the $8.29 million General Fund, which covers operations and personnel; the $2.59 million Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax Fund; the $1.37 million Capital Projects Fund; and the $75,000 Confiscated Assets Fund.
Overall, the city’s budget for the upcoming fiscal year is up about 4.7% from the approved budget for the current fiscal year, which ends later this month.
A key part of the budget is a 4% cost of living increase for all Lilburn employees to make starting salaries for city jobs — particularly police officer positions — more attractive, City Manager Bill Johnsa told the council. A pay-for-performance salary increase of up to 2%, depending on an individual employee’s performance, was also included in the budget.
“The bulk of the (budget) increase is 4% and 2% salary increases,” Johnsa said.
The millage rate is expected to stay the same this year, sitting at 4.43 mills, and the City Council is scheduled to adopt the rate at its July 8 meeting. The city also said the sanitation fee for residents will be $13.25 per month.
Lilburn has 64 full-time employees, and the police department makes up the majority of those positions. There are 32 sworn police officers, six civilian employees and one part-time employee.
Johnsa said the 4% cost of living increase for all employees means Lilburn will have the highest starting entry-level salary for police officers of any city in Gwinnett County, at $43,465 per year. Duluth was just behind Lilburn on a chart Johnsa showed the city council at $43,343. Lawrenceville’s pay was listed a few notches below Duluth as $42,047 and Suwanee was next at $41,425, according to Johnsa’s chart.
Of the north metro Atlanta cities included on Johnsa’s list, only Brookhaven, Johns Creek, Dunwoody and Milton had police officer salaries higher than Lilburn’s.
“(Having the highest pay in the county) is something we’ve always wanted to achieve in our police department (but) as you can imagine it’s a constant struggle,” said Johnsa, referring to other cities and the county frequently raising salaries to remain competitive.
There are two new positions in the budget which will be filled by current city staff, and a third position is being upgraded with a title change. One is an assistant city manager positions which will be filled by Economic Development Director Doug Stacks. The other is a director of planning position which will be filled by City Planner Joellen Wilson.
Municipal Court Clerk Emily Harvey’s job title was changed to a municipal court administrator position in the budget. Johnsa said that was done to reflect certification Harvey had received.
Johnsa said the budget also covers information technology upgrades.