Whitesburg KY

New Jenkins council, mayor will get raises

The Jenkins City Council has approved salary raises for the mayor and council members who will take office in 2015.

The mayor’s annual salary was increased from a base of $28,000 to $31,000 per year. The raise does not affect incentives already in place that, if met, can raise the mayor’s pay by $4,000. Council salaries were doubled to $50 per month.

At an informal meeting held earlier, Mayor G.C. Kincer told the members who were present that by law raises for incoming elected offi cials must be approved by May 1 in order to go into effect for the next council term. Kincer stressed that the raises do not pertain to the cur- rent mayor or council members unless they are re-elected. Kincer had suggested the council members’ salaries be raised to $100 a month to keep Jenkins in line with other fourth- class cities in Kentucky. Council Member Rebecca Amburgey said she was uncomfortable with such a dramatic jump from the current pay of $25 per month and suggested setting it at $50.

Councilman Robert Adams moved to set the council members’ salary at $50 per month and said if the next council wishes to address it again in four years, it will have the right to do so.

Amburgey said that in a fourthclass city, the position of mayor is considered a full-time job and requires a full-time mayor. However, she questioned if the city’s budget can accommodate the raises. Kincer said he had spoken with the finance officer and he was told that it could. He added that the Kentucky League of Cities told him the council has gone several terms without any raises at all.

After Councilman Chuck Anderson said he agreed with Amburgey and Adams, the council voted to set the new salary at $50.

In other business, the council as expected voted to take over operation of the Little Shepherd Amphitheater. At the informal meeting held earlier in April, Mayor Kincer said Little Shepherd Amphitheater Director Don Amburgey told him the theater is more than $13,000 in debt because of cuts in coal severance funding. Kincer said the amphitheater is too important to the city’s future to allow it to go under, and the council agreed it has the means to manage the theater as well as expand its offerings to allow for greater income and increase tourism opportunities for the city and county.

The council also voted to join the Air Medical Care Network to provide air ambulance coverage for city employees who may need it. Kincer said it would cost about $11,000 to cover the entire city’s population and about $4,000 per year to cover city employees.

Amburgey asked if the city could afford either amount and Kincer replied that city employee coverage is affordable. The council then voted to authorize participation for city employees.

Participation in the network will allow city employees to have access to medical helicopter flights at no cost if the need should arise. The out-of-pocket cost for medical evacuation flights usually runs between $10,000 and $15,000 for those with insurance. The cost is between $20,000 and $25,000 for the uninsured.

The network, developed by Wings and other medical air service providers, is an attempt to provide a steady flow of income for the air services while helping to defray the cost to people who receive their services. Individual families can participate with full coverage for $65 per year.

The council also voted unanimously to declare the old Fleming Electric Building in East Jenkins as surplus property, along with two fire department vehicles and a 1990 Ford F-350.

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