Spartanburg City Council approves pay increases for police officers
City Police Department salaries increased to more closely match other area departments
At their last meeting of 2020 on Monday, Spartanburg City Council voted 7-0 to approve pay increases for City police officers. In his presentation to Council, City Manager Chris Story said the move was possible due to a two percent surplus in revenues so far this fiscal year. The approved budget amendment allocates $625,000 of funds to raises for police officers and bonuses for all other city staff, with $370,000 going to police officers and $255,000 utilized to provide bonuses for the 270 other full-time city employees.
Initially planned as part of the City's fiscal year 20-21 budget in July, police department raises were taken off the table temporarily due to an uncertain revenue picture presented by the COVID-19 pandemic along with a planned 1.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment for all city employees.
Also at Monday's meeting, City Council approved an agreement 4-3 to create a six month pilot program to allow electric scooter operator Blue Duck to bring Downtown Spartanburg. Mayor Junie White and Council members Meghan Smith and Erica Brown voted against the motion. Blue Duck plans to bring 100-125 scooters to the downtown area, sharing parking with the current BCycle bike share program.
Under terms of the agreement, scooter riders must use bike lanes when available and may only use streets with a speed limit of 25 MPH or less. Additionally, the scooters may not be ridden on sidewalks, on trails such as the Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail, or in city parks. Riders will also not be allowed to park scooters on sidewalks within 8 feet of a building entrance or within 4 feet of benches and crosswalks. Blue Duck uses geotagging to block off no-parking and no-riding areas with the scooters slowing to a stop when riders approach those areas.
In other action, Council voted unanimously to extend the City's mask ordinance for another 60 days at their meeting on Monday. Originally passed during a special meeting on June 26, the ordinance requires everyone entering a grocery store or pharmacy in the city to wear a mask or suitable face covering while inside the establishment and requires masks for all employees of restaurants, retail stores, salons, barber shops, grocery stores, and pharmacies when those employees have face-to-face interaction with the public. Additionally, anyone entering a City government building must wear a suitable face covdering. Individuals who fail to comply are subject to a fine of $25 and businesses that fail to comply are subject to a fine of $100.
For more from Monday's City Council meeting, see the full video below.