DENISON, TX-Denison city employees will get a bonus this year after nixing all raises for the past two years to save the city money.
This year, the council voted to give employees a one-time $750 bonus. City Manager Robert Hanna said the money is coming out of the city's general fund and is well deserved.
He said it's better to give employees the lump sum of the pay raise, instead of putting an additional $10 to $15 per paycheck. Hanna said any employee working for the city on or before January of this year, without any disciplinary actions, is eligible for the raise.
"I think it's real easy for people to get upset, 'ohhh those people at city hall are getting raises, no one else is getting raises.' You know, city employees work hard, they're dedicated and they're there when no one else wants to be there. When the water line busts at 4 a.m. and it's cold and freezing outside, it's a city employee out there who fixes the water line," he said.
The Denison Development Alliance is one step closer to their goal of bringing big business to Denison.
Monday, the city council also approved the DDA's request to buy land off Highway 75 and 84 from Denison ISD. Tony Kaai with the DDA said next, the school board must approve the purchase. If they do, the DDA will buy the land and market the location to new businesses.
Superintendent Dr. Henry Scott said the new high school was originally planned for that location but is now being built at 75 and 91.
"The school district really needs to put that land back on the tax roll. We need for it to be productive where it will generate taxes and it will spread the tax base," said Scott.
The school board will discuss the sale of the land at their meeting tomorrow.
And phase two of a plan to beautify properties in Denison was approved Monday as well.
It's part of the city's minimum property standards ordinance and, so far, city crews have done work on the exteriors of several homes. The amount paid by the homeowner depends on their financial situation, the rest is paid for by a grant.
Hanna said they plan to improve 60 homes between Juanita Drive and Perry Avenue and F.M. 84 and Crawford Streets during phase two.
Also, Denison now plans to offer residents the chance to go green for a small cost. The council approved a plan for the city to choose a curbside recycling service. Hanna said they are also working on making a list of what items will be recycled.