ARTESIA, N.M. — Police and firefighters in Artesia will not be taking pay cuts because the city will accept a donation from an anonymous donor to offset the costs.
The City Council on Tuesday voted to accept the donation for an undisclosed amount that will restore pay cuts for Artesia’s police officers, firefighters and two librarians, The Roswell Daily Record reported (http://bit.ly/2cChRfM ). The two librarians are an addition to the donation, which was announced earlier this month.
The city announced immediate pay cuts of 10 percent last month for all employees for the fiscal year that began July 1. The pay cuts affected nearly 200 employees in total. The cuts were made because of an economic decline in Artesia, which relies heavily on the oil and natural gas industries.
Mayor Phil Burch said a generous person came forward last week with a gift that will ensure all first-responder personnel receive their normal wages for the rest of the year. “We have some very generous folks living in Artesia,” Burch said.
Burch said he was honoring the donor’s request to remain anonymous. “I’m sure within the community, it won’t take too long for people to figure that out, but I’m going to honor the request,” he said.
The exact amount of the donation was not disclosed. But based on the city’s budget, it is estimated to be more than $300,000.
City Councilor Kent Bratcher said after Tuesday’s meeting that the donation is bittersweet because it does not restore pay cuts for the city’s other 120 employees.
Information from: Roswell Daily Record, http://www.roswell-record.com