The Conway City Council approved reclassifying four city positions during its regular meeting Tuesday.
A construction specialist position and a stormwater technician position in the Street and Engineering were reclassified to two supervisor positions, which required no additional funds in the budget. Aldermen passed the ordinance 8-0.
The council approved reclassifying the position of deputy mayor for policy and public affairs in the Finance Department to a purchasing manager within the Administration Department.
"I’m not going to fill the [deputy] mayor’s position," Mayor Bart Castleberry said. "It had a salary of $60,000. What I’d like to do is create a position of purchasing manager within the city."
The salary for that position will be $67,186, which was based on a Jessup study.
"This person will be in charge of RFQs, researching warranties … They’re going to buy everything from firetrucks to toilet paper," Castleberry said. "I really think this position will save us money as a city."
Alderman Andy Hawkins asked Chief Financial Officer Tyler Winningham if the move would put a strain on his department, as he was effectively losing a person.
"Some of the duties that the Finance Department does now is going to go with this position, such as monitoring the purchase orders, so I think we should be fine," Winningham said.
Also approved was reclassifying a budget analyst II to a grant administrator with a salary of $50,000.
"There are a number of federal grants out there that we as a city should be applying for and we need someone who will research these grants and follow them from beginning to closing," Castleberry said.
Winningham told aldermen the city currently receives less than $1 million annually from federal grants.
"There’s a lot more out there that we could go after," he said.
Alderman Andy Hawkins, who voted "here" on the ordinance regarding the latter two reclassifications bringing the vote to 7-1, spoke in favor of having a grant administrator.
"This could be a fabulous add to our people," he said. "This could turn up a lot of money for us."
Alderman Shelley Mehl also spoke highly of the new position.
"This could take some pressure off departments having to apply for grants," she said.