ROY -- For the fourth year, no city employees will receive merit or cost-of-living pay increases.
Instead, employees, including managers, will each receive a bonus of $400 in August and $400 in December. The total amount of the bonuses will be $200,000 and will be disbursed to full-time employees.
The city did the same thing last year and it worked pretty well, Finance Director Cathy Spencer said. The city has an easier time paying the bonuses because it is not a permanent increase that has to be budgeted.
Employees will also have no city contribution to their 401k accounts this year because of a state mandate to increase the contribution into employees' state retirement accounts.
Spencer said the amount the state is requiring is more than the city would have paid for the 401k and the retirement allocation combined. Employees do not have the option of contributing to their 401k.
Spencer said employees will still have their 401k, but a change in value will depend on the stock market.
"They will just have to be wise with their investments," she said.
There has also been a 7.9 percent increase in health insurance costs, which is a hit to the city as well.
Some department heads recently received newer cars because the budget does allow for most department heads to either have a car allowance or a city-provided vehicle, City Manager Chris Davis said. Many of the cars were traded in because they had between 85,000 and 95,000 miles and the trade-in value was rapidly decreasing.
"Many of the car folks told us we should have traded them in at 40,000 to 50,000 miles," Davis said. Cars can be used for some personal use, but shouldn't be more than 100 miles out of the Roy area in most cases, Davis said.
He feels the department heads have been respectful of the vehicle policy and that it has rarely been abused. The vehicle policy has been in effect for as long as 30 years, he said.
"The purchase of the cars has always fallen within the budget," he said. "It's not an uncommon benefit."
Both Davis and Spencer said the city is trying to be as generous as it can be with employees while maintaining fiscal responsibility.