Civil servants in Abbeville are asking for a cost of living pay raise. The council supports the idea. However, money for the salaries would mean a half-cent sales tax. Some taxpayers have a concern about the tax, and on Tuesday night they were able to speak before the council.
The tax would give all police officers, firefighters, and municipal employees a pay raise.
“We would like to engage the public, we would like to talk to the public, to see if they see it as we see it. We should not have five or six police vacancies, we should not have vacancies within the fire department, we should be staffed within all departments of the city,” Councilman Brady Broussard said.
Some police officers couldn’t agree more.
“It’ll motivate a lot more people to show more dedication and more hard work to the community of Abbeville. and I believe with this half-cent tax raise it will bring more attention to the problems we have here,” Officer Bryce Melancon said.
The tax was met with some concern. One resident compared the Abbeville Fire Department to surrounding cities, concerned the budget may be too large.
“If you haven’t looked at any alternatives in that fire department area or if you could explain any justifications for the gross disparity, in budgets between the different cities,” one resident said.
The Abbeville Fire Chief, Jude Mire, says he has an answer.
“We don’t just take care of Abbeville, we take care of a district we have outside of the city, and so its close to 18 or 19 people we take care of so we want to have the best product for the citizens, for the money they give us,” Mire said.
The council would have to finalize everything before mid-March to have the item on the agenda on May 4th.