The city of Conway has a projected surplus of $467,726 for 2018.
"Every year there are incidentals that come up," Mayor Bart Castleberry said. "The council and I felt it was important to have a good, solid bottom line."
Castleberry said he asked department heads to reduce spending so they could give employees a 3 percent cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) raise.
"Some of these employees haven’t had a raise in over five years," he said. "Our employees are our most important assets."
Alderman David Grimes during a budget committee meeting on Tuesday amended the motion for employee raises to include the mayor.
"You deserve a raise like everybody else," Grimes said.
Castleberry’s salary will increase from $102,339.95 to $105,410.15.
In the 2018 budget, the city will remove the fleet maintenance line item that was previously included in the general fund. In 2017, the fleet maintenance was $85,763. Instead, the two employees who worked fleet maintenance will join the sanitation department and the city will outsource its fleet maintenance as it is needed — a move that Castleberry believes "will save the city some money."
"It also allows the private sector to participate in business with us," he said.
The city council will meet at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 12 in the District Court Building for its last regular meeting of the year. The Dec. 26 meeting was canceled.