In a meeting held early due to the fourth Monday of the month being Christmas, the Booneville City Council adopted a salary ordinance and budget for 2018.

The Dec. 18 vote essentially eliminated one position from City Hall, which was deemed obsolete, and replaced it with another.

Eliminated was the assistant clerk position which was replaced by a deputy city clerk who, through legal mandate has to be bonded as they will be required to fill in for city clerk Gayleene West.

The change was dictated, according to councilman Arron Brewer, by the recently conducted audit of the city books.

At the close of the meeting Mayor Jerry Wilkins appointed Brewer and councilman Brad Smith, as well as West, to a committee who will be in charge of screening applicants for the position. Wilkins said a fourth person may be appointed to the committee but he had not requested she accepted the appointment prior to Monday’s meeting.

The position will be advertised in the Booneville Democrat on Jan. 3 and 10, which will state an application deadline of Jan. 19, after which time interviews will be conducted and a person selected to fill the position.

Though the position will carry the same salary as the current administrative assistant, Wilkins said, the current position holder will not automatically fill the position.

The only other change within the salary ordinance passed by the council was the creation of a sergeant position in the Booneville Police Department.

The new ordinance combines the former positions of lieutenant and criminal investigator, which is currently filled by Rusty Lewis. Lewis was already the criminal investigator and took over lieutenant duties when Steve Reid left the force last year, without an increase.

The new ordnance grants Lewis a $500 pay hike and adds $1,000 to the patrolman designated as a sergeant, who will be selected among the current police force Wilkins said.

The move actually costs the city no more because Reid, who is now on the council, was paid an extra $1500 for serving as a lieutenant before leaving the force and though Lewis inherited his position, he received no compensation for it in 2017.

The budget aldermen adopted called for $2 million in revenue and $1.8 million in expenditures, Wilkins said.

However, Wilkins said the city experienced expenses in 2017 he doesn’t expect to recur in 2018 and he is in hope of being able to provide a salary increase for employees in the 2019 budget.

Aldermen approved a $1,000 across the board bonus for employees during it November meeting.