THAYER -- The Thayer City Council met in a work/study session Aug. 9 at Thayer City Hall.
All council members, Joe Barbee, Steve Alford, Mike Harber and Junior Brewer were present as well as Mayor Merle Williams.
The council voted unanimously to hire Darren Sorrell as a new Thayer City Police officer.
Mayor Williams proposed to the council a salary schedule for city employees.
"This would be a one through six step schedule where every step would earn the employee a 50 cent an hour raise," the mayor said.
Currently all city employees, with the exception of the police officers, have a starting pay at 50 cents above the state minimum wage. The minimum wage in Missouri is set at $6.50 an hour.
After an extensive discussion, the council voted to adopt the mayor's steps for salary schedules.
The mayor also discussed the need for increasing police officer's pay.
The mayor said that all the officers in the police department have completed their 120 hours of required training with the exception of dispatcher Jason Romine.
The council discussed if upon completion of their required training, officers should make more money.
The officers are currently hired in at 80 cents an hour more than general labor for the city.
"The officers are required to have their 120 hours of training when we hire them. Maybe pay increases should be based on additional training the officers receive," said alderman Steve Alford.
"Our city compared to city's of similar size is paying our officers on the low end of the scale," Williams said. Alderman Junior Brewer answered that the other cities could afford to do that.
Alderman Harber asked if the city budget could allow for pay increases which would amount to approximately $35,000 a year, or hiring two more officers at $8 an hour.
Williams said the funds to make the increases would not come out of general funds but other funds would have to be tapped into.
"We need to look at how we can improve the salary for our police officers," the mayor said. No decision was made regarding the police officer pay increase.
The aldermen also discussed the need for water at the airport.
"More planes are landing at the airport than we realize. Sometimes on the weekend we might have as many as 10 to 12 planes land here," Alford said.
Three bids were opened at the meeting regarding the water project at the airport. The council voted to accept the bid from Calvin Bowers of $1,563.50.
Vicious dogs were discussed by the council; however no decision was made regarding the dog situation.