The Laramie City Council will consider whether to approve an expenditure for a one-time employee stipend for city employees during their regular meeting tomorrow night.

The stipend would be taken from budgeted 1% personnel reserve, which was adopted as part of the Fiscal year 2018-2018 budget. The stipend would provide a 1% stipend for all regular, benefited staff. Part-time or temporary employees would receive a stipend based on hours worked.

Malea Brown, Administrative Services Director for the City of Laramie, said the reason the City Manager Janine Jordan is proposing the stipends is to reward the staff still at the city, while working within budget constraints.

“Due to our budget constraints and some of the things that are going on with the city finances, I think that they are recommending the stipend which is one time monies which doesn’t grow with your budget. However, there have been a lot of people who I think have done a lot. We’ve frozen 10 positions,” Brown said. “So it’s just to reward the people that are here but not have the impact on the finances.”

The goal of the stipend would be to retain hard working, high performing staff, many of whom have been asked to do more with less after the city reduced staffing by 14 full-time positions due to significant cuts in state-shared funding, according to the cover sheet provided by the City Manager.

The City Manager also pointed out in the cover sheet for the resolution that the last time city staff received any increase in compensation was in January 2016.

Brown said the total amount it will take to cover the stipends is $258,000. Brown said $118,000 of which was already budgeted for and the $140,000 is being transferred from savings across all funds. Brown said the $140,000 is to cover stipends for provisional employees, whom the Finance Committee wanted to include.

“We are not adding to the budget, we are pretty much using reserves that we already have,” Brown said. “We froze ten positions and from those savings we have some money there.”

Based on the number of regular, benefited employees, the stipend was calculated to be $950 before taxes. The average after-tax stipend will be about $760, but will vary based on each employee’s individual tax rate.

The City Council is also expected to announce the appointment of a new City Council member to replace former Councilor Vicki Henry of Ward 1, who resigned to address family matters.

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