WARNER ROBINS -- City employees will get a 3 percent pay increase beginning next month, the City Council decided Monday night.
Council members unanimously approved the change, called a cost-of-living pay adjustment, with no discussion. The pay increase had been approved as part of the current budget, which began July 1.
Mayor Randy Toms said the full weight of the 3-percent adjustment will be budgeted in the next budget year. Only half of the increase had to be in this budget since it takes effect halfway through the city’s fiscal year.
Councilman Tim Thomas, who made the motion to approve the pay increase, said the raise was in the best interests of the city.
Separately, council members also approved a zoning that allows commercial and residential uses in the same building. A rezoning of a storage facility at 230 Carl Vinson Parkway from C-2 to C-3 will allow an upstairs office to be remodeled into living quarters for a caretaker. City officials hope more of the zoning will be used, particularly along Watson Boulevard. Such zonings are used elsewhere, typically for condos or apartments above stores.
On Monday night, Toms also swore in five new members of the Warner Robins Police Department.
The council also honored Keep Warner Robins Beautiful and partner organizations, which are receiving state and national awards for creating the Warner Robins Nature Center & Botanical Gardens, which include a trail, classroom space, greenhouses and gardens off Elberta Road. The nature center opened earlier this year on land from the National Alliance on Mental Illness. The City Council also recognized organizations that helped with its first tree lighting.
In another matter, the City Council rejected a deal to sell, for $5,001, the city property at 608 Duke Ave. to the Rev. John H. Thomas, who owns and is renovating adjacent property. Toms told The Telegraph the city still expects to transfer the property but plans to handle it in a different way.
The city is also considering revisions to its noise ordinance, which could get firm numerical standards. City Attorney Jim Elliott asked council members to review his proposal, which could be considered at the first meeting in January.